‘The greatest challenge we face’: UK to encourage action on climate change ahead of US summit and COP26

The greatest challenge we face’: UK to encourage action on climate change ahead of US summit and COP26
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Britain is going to do more to persuade other nations to take action on climate change from next week, Number 10 has said, calling it “the greatest challenge that we face”.

Climate change tsar, Alok Sharma, is heading to Japan to shore up support ahead of Thursday’s Leaders Summit on Climate, hosted by US President Joe Biden.

There, Boris Johnson will urge other world leaders to go further to maintain momentum on progressing worldwide action to tackle global warming, Downing Street said.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma

Climate change tsar, Alok Sharma, is heading to Japan

The UK, which is hosting the major COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, was “using all international avenues” to ask every nation to set ambitious emission-reducing targets in order to reach net zero carbon output by the middle of the century, Number 10 said.

Mr Sharma said: “The US Leaders Summit on Climate is a major event in this vital year for climate action on the road to COP26 in Glasgow.

“The climate crisis is the greatest challenge that we face and it is our duty to address it.

“There are also great opportunities as we look to build back greener [after the coronavirus pandemic] – accelerating our move to a greener future, as we invest in new technologies and create millions of new jobs across the world.

“We are making progress but we are not there yet – there is much more work to be done.

“We need to turn ambition into action and coming together this week we are looking to raise global climate ambition, continue the momentum we have already seen and ensure we keep 1.5 degrees in reach.”

The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement commits signatories to keeping global warming to well below 2C, preferably 1.5C.

To stand any chance of achieving that, carbon emissions need to reach net zero by 2050.

A range of major carbon-producing countries, including the US, the UK, Japan and the EU, have signed up to the idea and China committed to reaching it by 2060 in September.

Officials said 80 countries had made net zero commitments, covering 65% of global carbon emissions – more than triple from when the UK took over the COP presidency in December 2019.

In the lead up to the November gathering, the UK is also asking donor countries to deliver on their commitment to secure $100bn (£72 billion) of public finance and unleash the trillions needed to support developing countries and to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has not decided whether to go to next week’s US summit, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

The Daily Climate Show

Sky News broadcasts the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

Hosted by Anna Jones, The Daily Climate Show is following Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

The show will also highlight solutions to the crisis and show how small changes can make a big difference.