Boris Johnson pushes mini-climate summit for December

Boris Johnson pushes mini-climate summit for December

The British Prime Minister and the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, have agreed to hold a meeting on December 12 to pave the way for COP26

Boris Johnson pushes mini-climate summit for December

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General António Guterres have agreed to hold a mini-summit on 12 December – under the slogan The Spirit of Glasgow – to pave the way for COP26, which had to be postponed until November 2021 for the pandemic.

Johnson will use his speech to the UN General Assembly on Saturday to call for multilateralism in the face of the coronavirus and climate change. The premier has promised to co-host the special event (coinciding with the five years of the Paris Agreement) to invite governments to present their Nationally Determined Contributions and to put their Covid-19 recovery plans on the table.

China's announcement, with its commitment to reach “carbon neutrality” by 2060 and to “peak” CO2 emissions throughout this decade, has given a boost to sluggish climate action . President Xi Jinping used his remote speech at the General Assembly this week to break a spear in favor of “green recovery” in the face of the pandemic.

Donald Trump sidestepped the issue in his speech, but Democratic candidate Joe Biden has promised that the United States would rejoin the Paris Agreement (“keep global warming below 2 ° C relative to pre-industrial levels and continue efforts to limit it to 1.5º C “) and move towards a future of” low emissions “.

The European Commission actually got ahead of itself last week by announcing a commitment to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 and has placed special emphasis on “green recovery” after the social and economic impact of the pandemic.

Hundreds of students around the world joined the first Fridays for Future demonstrations after the Coronavirus on Friday. “We have adapted and we return to act in a safe way and following the rules against the virus” , declared Greta Thunberg at the event in Sweden, strictly limited to 50 people and two meters of distance between them. “We demand that those in power take up this crisis with the necessary urgency.”

With its decision of the mini-summit in December, the United Kingdom has finally made a move and has also marked the way to Glasgow. During the months of the pandemic, sales of hybrid and electric cars (33,000) have for the first time exceeded those of diesel vehicles (29,000) in the British Isles. The Johnson Government is studying the possibility of advancing the ban on the sale of new combustion vehicles to 2030 to accelerate the transition to the electric car.

Five master lines

In a conference call with foreign media, COP26 deputy director John Murton advanced the five main lines of the conference that will finally be held from November 1 to 12, 2021 in Glasgow: adaptation and resilience mechanisms; protection and restoration of ecosystems; transition to reversible energies; new mobility and transportation and contribution from the world of finance (starring former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney).

The British delegation to COP26 has, however, received the first criticism for the lack of representation of women in high places. Johnson decided in February to remove former conservative MP Claire ONeill and put the secretary for business Alok Sharma, who will act as conference president, at the head of COP26, flanked among others by Martin Callanan, Zac Goldsmith, Kwasi Kwarteng, Peter Hill and Archie Young.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director of the British employers' CBI, has criticized “the lack of diversity” in the UK delegation, as has former Irish President Mary Robinson, so bluntly speaking to The Guardian : ” The absence of women will decrease the UK's impact . The gender divide on climate issues is very significant. Having women in leadership roles is very important to ensure that matters are taken up with enthusiasm. “

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