Wealthier countries must deliver on climate finance promises they made to the developing world for the UK-hosted Cop26 to be deemed a success, a senior British environmentalist said.
Lord Deben, the chairman of the Climate Change Committee, an independent body that advises the UK government on global warming, said “better ways of thinking about offsetting” emissions would also be an important part of the discussions at the climate conference, which is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November.
“The money actually not only being promised but delivered for the developing countries is going to be a really important part of it,” Lord Deben told an event organised by Global Counsel when asked what a successful Cop26 would entail.
More than a decade ago, developed countries agreed to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to go into a climate fund for poorer nations – a target that has not been met.
Lord Deben, who was environment minister in John Major's Conservative government in the 1990s, praised the target set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last December to slash the UK's emissions by 68 per cent from levels in the 1990s and to do so by 2030.
He said that needed to be done if the target of net zero emissions by 2050 was going to be achievable.
“The government set a very good example on that, and other nations are beginning to recognise that they really do have to work through it.
“They can’t say a figure for 2030 which makes 2050 impossible, if they’ve committed themselves to net zero in 2050,” Lord Deben said.
Mr Johnson has said that hosting Cop26 is one of the single biggest priorities any government could have, but there are fears it may need to be postponed or radically redesigned because of the Covid-19 pandemic.