(dpa) – Politicians across the world have called for unity to tackle climate change ahead of the COP26 event in Britain this year.
President of the UN Climate Change Conference and British politician Alok Sharma said the world could not afford another decade of “deliberation” and instead a decade of “delivery” was needed.
Speaking at an online meeting on Wednesday, he was joined by energy ministers from China, India, Africa, the United States and Europe, who outlined their goals to reduce global warming.
“The emissions reductions required to keep the 1.5-degrees target within reach require rapid structural change across the entire global economy. These are only achievable if we collaborate,” he said.
Sharma added that collaboration would be a “key goal” of the summit, which is due to take place in Glasgow in November.
US climate envoy John Kerry recognised that each country’s part in tackling the crisis would be different.
“Will it be the same plan for everybody? No. Do we respect that there is a differentiation of responsibility? Yes. But we can’t just willy-nilly ignore the next 10 years. Why? Because once again the scientists tell us that if we don’t do enough over the next 10 years, we cannot keep the earth’s temperature [rise to] 1.5 degrees,” Kerry said.
“We are in a life-threatening situation,” said EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans. “You have to act immediately if you want to prevent future generations from fighting over water and food.”
The United Nations warned last month that countries needed to submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans if they wanted to reduce global warming to well below two degrees.
Later on Wednesday, sources suggested to broadcaster Sky News the summit might have to be delayed for a second time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are working on the basis of COP26 being held in person this November, while closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation,” a government spokesman told dpa on Wednesday.
“The summit team is working closely with all partners and exploring what different scenarios might mean for COP26 and how we plan for that, whilst putting the health of the participants and the local community first,” the spokesman said.