Queen's COP26 warning rings in leaders' ears ahead of negotiations

Biden, Johnson, Merkel and Trudeau put COP26 disagreements on hold as they attend the biggest meeting of world leaders in Britain in 75 years ahead of make-or-break day of negotiations with Queen’s warning for them to act NOW ringing in their ears

  • Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau joined the royals for an evening reception
  • Leaders earlier in the day had shared their plans to reduce carbon emissions in fight against climate change
  • The Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’
  • Her Majesty told leaders ‘to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship’ in speech
  • Monarch also paid tribute to Prince Philip and described how the environment was a subject close to his heart
  • Speech came as Boris Johnson urged leaders to back up climate talk – warning it was ‘one minute to midnight’ 

World leaders including Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau engaged in a spot of dinner-time diplomacy last night as they joined hundreds for the biggest gathering of Government representatives since the birth of the United Nations – ahead of the last ‘full’ day of the COP26 summit today.

The congregation of leaders appeared in high spirits as they put disagreements on hold and capped off the first day at the COP26 climate conference with a lavish royal reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Cornwall.

During the night the Prime Minister, who hosted the evening at the recently renovated gallery, told leaders the summit was ‘quite an extraordinary historic event’ and it was even more important because ‘we face nothing less than a mortal threat to our planet and to our civilisation’.

He also hailed Prince Charles as ‘the man to defuse the bomb at the world’s moment of danger’ and described him as a ‘prophet without honour’.

His comments came as world leaders prepare for a day make-or-break day negotiations during what will be the final day of the climate change conference for many of them – with leaders leaving delegates behind to negotiate on their behalf.

The lavish reception was opened by the Queen who urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’ in an impassioned speech.

Mr Johnson’s comments came after President Biden apologised for his predecessor Donald Trump taking the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord and pledged the U.S would up its financial stake in fighting climate change, arguing the biggest producers of it should be its biggest investors in fixing it.

World leaders pose for a group photo during an evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26 summit in Glasgow

Joe Biden speaks with Prince William as the pair join hundreds of world leaders for the climate change conference in Glasgow

Boris Johnson, who hosted the event at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, hailed Prince Charles for his efforts in tackling climate change

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during an evening reception for the attending heads of state and Government last night

 The Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘to rise above the politics of the moment in her address to leaders at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the Earthshot reception at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last night

The lavish reception came just moments after the Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’ in an impassioned speech to representatives.

Her Majesty, 95, who was forced to miss the conference after her overnight stay in hospital last month, told leaders via video ‘to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship’ as Government representatives attended the reception for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

She went on to say that ‘none of us will live forever’ and ‘we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps’ as she urged leaders to reach decisive COP climate change deals.

In her most personal speech to date, the monarch also paid tribute to Prince Philip and described how ‘the impact of the environment on human progress’ was a subject close to the heart of her ‘dear late husband’ – who in 1969 told a gathering: ‘If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.’

After the monarch’s powerful speech, the Prime Minister said: ‘What we’ve got today, as Her Majesty alluded to, is the biggest gathering of world leaders in this country since the foundation of the UN at the end of the Second World War, and it’s quite an extraordinary historic event.

‘But in a way, what we are doing today, is even more important, because we face nothing less than a mortal threat to our planet and to our civilisation, to our way of life.’

The evening reception came at the end of a busy first day of climate negotiations in Glasgow that also saw:

  • Around 120 leaders attend the two-day World Leaders’ Summit at the beginning of the two-week Cop26 conference in Glasgow;
  • Some including Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised for flying by private jet from the G20 summit in Rome to make it back for the start of the summit;
  • Delegates at the opening ceremony hear stark warnings in speeches from Mr Johnson, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, and Sir David Attenborough;
  • Mr Guterres accused of hyperbole for suggested countries were ‘digging our own graves’ and treating nature ‘like a toilet’;
  • Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, apologise for comparing the failure to face the threat of climate change with the Nazi’s genocide in the 1930s;
  • Dozens of protest groups including Extinction Rebellion and Glasgow Calls Out Polluters are holding rallies just outside the UN conference’s ‘ring of steel’.

As the night continued the Prime Minister told guests: ‘How do you turn COP into ”coup”, what do you add to turn COP into ”coup”?

‘You add ”u’,’ you add ”you”. It’s a very simple idea, you add ”u”. You can make the difference, you can turn this COP into a gigantic coup, because you have the ideas, you have the imaginations, you have the technology, the flair, and a lot of you have the money to do it.

‘And the people of the world are looking at us tonight, they are looking at us over the course of the next few days to turn this thing round.’

The PM also hailed Prince Charles as the man to defuse the bomb at the world’s moment of danger.

He told guests: ‘You heard me earlier on say this was a job for James Bond. Well we have somebody who drives an electric Aston Martin who has a plan to defuse the ticking time bomb.

‘l just want to say you’re a prophet without honour and you’ve been right for a very long time.’

Meanwhile Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness told leaders the world was ‘at a crossroads’ and we ‘must take collective measures’.

He said: ‘Humanity’s existence and life as we know it, especially for small island developing states which will have to adapt, demand urgent and decisive action.

‘We are at a crossroads, and must take collective measures to preserve our common future.’

Earlier on Monday, Biden delivered his plans for cutting carbon emissions with a dose of hot air, as organisers ‘gonged’ him for blasting past his allotted three minutes.

The president pushed the benefits of a green economy saying the U.S would lead by example.

Ignoring the audible warnings, he said the ‘eyes of history’ were on the delegates and unveiled a detailed plan to cut emissions on the path to a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

He said: ‘The United States is not only back at the table, but hopefully leading by the power of our example.

‘I know it hasn’t been the case. And that’s why my administration is working overtime to show that our Climate Commitment is action, not words.’

Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel also urged countries to tackle carbon emissions, which are the main cause of global warming.

In her last COP address as chancellor, she said: ‘What we need is a comprehensive transformation of the way we live, work and do business. And that’s why I want to make a clear plea here for the pricing of carbon emissions.

‘Of CO2 emissions. With such pricing, which we already have in the European Union, which is being introduced in China, and which needs to be developed with many others around the world, we can further our industry, our economy, find the best and most efficient ways for technology to get to climate neutrality.’

And Canada’s Justin Trudeau said the country will cap oil and gas sector emissions today in order to reach net-zero by 2050.

He said: ‘We’ll cap oil and gas sector emissions today and ensure they decrease tomorrow at a pace and scale needed to reach net-zero by 2050.

‘That’s no small task for a major oil and gas producing country. It’s a big step that’s absolutely necessary.’

In her speech last night the Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’.

Her Majesty said: ‘I am delighted to welcome you all to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference; and it is perhaps fitting that you have come together in Glasgow, once a heartland of the industrial revolution, but now a place to address climate change.

‘This is a duty I am especially happy to discharge, as the impact of the environment on human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

‘I remember well that in 1969, he told an academic gathering: ”If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be, that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time … If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.’

The monarch went on to describe how it gave her ‘great pride’ that the efforts of her late husband to protect ‘our fragile planet’ now lived on through the work of her eldest son Charles and her grandson William.

She continued: ‘It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William.

‘I could not be more proud of them. Indeed, I have drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part.’

The royal called on leaders to create a ‘safer, stabler future’ for the generations ahead and said it was the hope of many that the legacy of this summit ‘will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity’.

She continued: ‘In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend.

‘None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.

‘For more than seventy years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world’s great leaders. And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special.

‘It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow — that is statesmanship. I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship.

‘It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Duchess of Cornwall as they attend an evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26 summit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets  Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as they arrive to attend an evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26

German chancellor Angela Merkel and the Duchess of Cornwall speak with each other at the climate change conference

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak with guests at a reception for the key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize

President Biden appeared in high spirits as he spoke with leaders and delegates at the conference in Scotland

During the reception, guests heard as the Queen issued a rallying cry to world leaders attending Cop26 urging them to work together in ‘common cause’ to tackle climate change 

President Joe Biden poses for a group photo during the leader reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with representative at an evening reception in Glasgow for the COP26 summit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for the reception in Glasgow

Prince William  speaks with leaders and Government representatives at the reception for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference

The monarch, who was speaking via video, also paid tribute to Prince Philip and described how ‘ the impact of the environment on human progress’ was a subject close to the heart of her ‘dear late husband’ 

Earlier in the day German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured with Prince William)  urged countries to tackle carbon emissions

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, US President Joe Biden and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend the evening reception for the UN Climate Change Conference

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (left) speaks with President Joe Biden (centre) and the Duchess of Cornwall at the COP26 reception at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow 

‘That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.’

The Queen’s full speech to world leaders at COP26

‘Thank you, Prime Minister Holness, for your kind words of introduction. I am delighted to welcome you all to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference; and it is perhaps fitting that you have come together in Glasgow, once a heartland of the industrial revolution, but now a place to address climate change. 

‘This is a duty I am especially happy to discharge, as the impact of the environment on human progress was a subject close to the heart of my dear late husband, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. 

‘I remember well that in 1969, he told an academic gathering: ‘If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be, that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time … If we fail to cope with this challenge, all the other problems will pale into insignificance.’

 ‘It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. 

‘I could not be more proud of them. Indeed, I have drawn great comfort and inspiration from the relentless enthusiasm of people of all ages – especially the young – in calling for everyone to play their part.

‘In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend. 

‘None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.

 ‘For more than seventy years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world’s great leaders. And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special.

‘It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow — that is statesmanship. 

‘I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship. 

‘It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations. 

‘That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.

‘Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today: we none of us will live forever. But we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps. And so, I wish you every good fortune in this significant endeavour. ‘

The Queen’s stern intervention, which was displayed on screens during a VVIP reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum, came hours after the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that India will target net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 – two decades later than the targets for the conference – disappointing many delegates.

Meanwhile the PM used his speech at the opening of the summit as a rallying cry to try to build momentum as he welcomed foreign leaders to Glasgow after securing only lukewarm climate commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend.

And Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, accused countries of ‘treating nature like a toilet’ as he warned of a looming ‘climate catastrophe’.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson told world leaders that they could no longer afford to delay taking major action to address climate change as he warned ‘the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets’.

The Prime Minister compared the situation facing the globe to the climax of a James Bond film where the hero has to thwart plans to blow up the planet.

But Mr Johnson said ‘this is not a movie’ and the ‘doomsday device is real’ as he urged his counterparts to do more to reduce harmful emissions.

The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then ‘the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’.

He said the world has ‘long since run the clock down on climate change’ and there is now just ‘one minute to midnight’, with action required immediately to prevent a global disaster.

The PM used his speech at the opening of the summit as a rallying cry to try to build momentum as he welcomed foreign leaders to Glasgow after securing only lukewarm climate commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend.

However, hopes for the UN event have suffered fresh setbacks, after it emerged that China’s president Xi Jinping will not even give a ‘virtual’ speech, instead only submitting a written statement.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan also announced he will not be coming, despite attending the G20.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, both in charge of big polluters, have also declined to attend.

Meanwhile, the organisation of the conference has come under fire after thousands of delegates were forced to wait hours to get through shambolic security systems this morning.

Mr Johnson pledged in his lunchtime speech to put another billion pounds into green finance – as long as the UK economy performs as expected in the coming years.

The PM repeated he wanted global leaders to unveil steps on ‘coal, cars, cash and trees’ – the things he believes will make the most different in limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

Mr Johnson had set the tone as the G20 wrapped up on Sunday by reading the riot act to his fellow world leaders, saying their promises on tackling climate change are starting to ‘sound hollow’.

The PM said there are ‘no compelling excuses for our procrastination’ on reducing harmful emissions and action already taken amounts to ‘drops in a rapidly warming ocean’.

Mr Johnson welcomed world leaders to Scotland by telling them that the country’s most famous fictional son was James Bond.

He said the fictional hero ‘generally comes to the climax of his highly lucrative films strapped to a doomsday device, desperately trying to work out which coloured wire to pull to turn it off while a red digital clock ticks down remorselessly to a detonation that will end human life as we know it’.

Addressing the packed summit hall, the PM said: ‘And we are in roughly the same position, my fellow global leaders, as James Bond today.

‘Except that the tragedy is this is not a movie and the doomsday device is real.

‘And the clock is ticking to the furious rhythm of hundreds of billions of pistons and turbines and furnaces and engines with which we are pumping carbon into the air faster and faster, record outputs quilting the Earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2, raising the temperature of the planet with a speed and an abruptness that is entirely man made.

Boris Johnson (pictured with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) kicked off the climate change summit by exhorting world leaders to back up their talk on climate change with action 

 Canada’s Justin Trudeau (pictured with the Duchess of Cambridge) said the country will cap oil and gas sector emissions in order to reach net-zero by 2050 

President Biden  pledged the U.S would up its financial stake in fighting climate change, arguing the biggest producers of it should be its biggest investors in fixing it

Government representatives and world leaders have been tackling the issue of climate change at the COP26 summit in Glasgow

The Queen’s speech came just hours after the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that India will target net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 – two decades later than the targets for the conference

Sir David Attenborough delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow

President Joe Biden joins hundreds of leaders and delegates for the opening session of the COP26 summit in Glasgow

 The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then ‘the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’. Mr Johnson is pictured welcoming Joe Biden to the summit

World leaders including the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel convened in the main summit hall at lunchtime to hear Mr Johnson deliver the opening address 

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland, was among those leaders in the audience listening to the Prime Minister

What are the key aims at COP26? 

  • Secure commitments on cutting emissions by 2030 and reaching Net Zero as close to 2050 as possible.
  • Keep alive hopes of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.
  • Phase out unabated coal power stations, drum up investment in renewable energy.
  • Strike deals on reducing deforestation.  
  • Rack up $100billion in climate finance pledges.
  • Finalise rules to implement the Paris Agreement.   

 

‘We know what the scientists tell us and we have learned not to ignore them. Two degrees more and we jeopardise the food supply for hundreds of millions of people as crops wither, locusts swarm.

‘Three degrees and you can add more wildfires and cyclones, twice as many, five times as many droughts and 36 times as many heat waves.

‘Four degrees and we say goodbye to whole cities – Miami, Alexandria, Shanghai – all lost beneath the waves.

‘And the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets and he higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act because humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It is one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now.’

Mr Johnson said that the current crop of world leaders will be judged harshly by future generations if they fail to agree a deal to restrict global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.

He said: ‘If we fail they will not forgive us. They will know that Glasgow was the historic turning point when history failed to turn.

‘They will judge us with bitterness and with a resentment that eclipses any of the climate activists of today. And they will be right.’

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are pictured arriving for the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow

French president Emmanuel Macron gestures to the Prime Minister as they chat on Monday morning as the climate change summit kicks off

Boris Johnson has told world leaders at the start of the COP26 summit that they can no longer afford to delay taking major action to address climate change as he warned ‘the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets’

Mr Johnson closed his speech by telling his counterparts that they have a ‘duty’ to work together to make COP26 the moment when they begin to finally ‘defuse the bomb’ of climate change.

He said: ‘We may not feel much like James Bond, not all of us necessarily look like James Bond, but we have the opportunity and we have the duty to make this summit the moment when humanity finally began, and I stress began, to defuse that bomb and to make this the moment when we began irrefutably to turn the tide and to begin the fight back against climate change.’

Hopes of the summit delivering a major breakthrough have been hit hard by the absence of President Xi and President Putin.

In a round of interviews yesterday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK is ‘putting a lot of pressure’ on the two leaders regardless of their decision not to attend.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) poses for a photograph during her meeting with climate activists Vanessa Nakate (right) and Greta Thunberg (left) during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference

Mr Johnson (left) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (right) greet India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in arrives for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow on Monday morning

She told BBC Breakfast: ‘Both of those leaders are sending senior delegations to Glasgow so there will be representation in person here in Glasgow.

‘The Prime Minister has spoken to both Vladimir Putin and President Xi, we’re putting a lot of pressure on those countries.

‘Because in order to tackle climate change it needs to be global action and those countries are high emitters of carbon dioxide.’

Ms Truss also defended the huge carbon toll of world leaders – including US president Joe Biden – flying to Glasgow to talk in person.

‘I think everybody who has ever done a Zoom call knows that they are quite useful for some things but when you really get into crunch negotiations, when you want to look somebody in the eye and talk to them face-to-face you do need to meet in person, and this is really critical,’ she said.

‘World leaders are going to have to make some tough decisions about what’s going on in their own countries, they’re going to have to commit to things they didn’t necessarily want to when they arrived at the conference and that’s why it’s really important that we do have people face-to-face.’

The first days of the seminal climate conference were dogged with problems with many journalists reporting long queues meaning Government officials missed meetings.

Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general accused countries of ‘treating nature like a toilet’ as he warned of a looming ‘climate catastrophe’

Mr Johnson and Sir David Attenborough were in the audience listening to speeches on the first day of the leaders’ summit   

President Joe Biden’s car, commonly known as ‘the Beast’, drives along the M8 motorway near Salsburgh on its way to the summit

Prince Charles used his COP26 address to demand a ‘military-style campaign’ to mobilise trillions of dollars of private sector cash to ‘save our precious planet’

Speaking at a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, Swedish 18-year-old activist GretaThunberg said that heads of government were not doing enough to save the planet from disaster

Organisers of the conference came under fire after urging delegates who have travelled to Glasgow to tune into the online feed because of a ‘high level of attendance’ at the venue.

COP26 delegates forced to FLY to Glasgow after a SINGLE fallen tree causes travel chaos at London Euston

Mayhem at London’s Euston Station continued today after a single tree fell and damaged overhead wires causing travel chaos for delegates trying to reach the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Pendolino climate train left London Euston on time this morning but other delegates were forced to fly to Glasgow and passengers spent the night on the floor after heavy winds brought a tree down on top of overhead lines.  

Delays continued this morning after the single tree fell between between Rugby and Milton Keynes on the West Coast Main Line. Network Rail said its teams spent the night on site near Long Buckby in Northamptonshire. 

One journalist travelling to the COP26 climate summit was quoted almost £1,000 for a taxi between Edinburgh and Glasgow after battling train cancellations. 

Another CEO delegate, who took to a plane to reach the climate change summit, said the irony of having to choose the carbon-heavy option after extreme weather affected the trains ‘was not lost’ on him.  

Meanwhile, Mr Khan wrote on Twitter: ‘Delighted to lead a delegation of mayors from across the globe from London to Glasgow on our special electric Pendolino climate train. Per capita passenger emissions are estimated to be seven times lower than flying.’ 

Delays continued this morning even after engineers worked overnight to repair the damaged wires and Network Rail last night admitted ‘extreme weather’ had ‘got the better of us’. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson arrived at Glasgow International Airport at 11.30pm last night after flying straight from the G20 summit in Rome, Italy.

And the chaos didn’t stop with Britain’s rail network, as thousands of attendees battled against lengthy immovable queues through security this morning. One bystander joked the conference would be a disaster because no one would be there until the second day.  

Thousands of attendees found themselves waiting well over 90 minutes outside this morning in a 9C (48F) chill – with complaints that meetings were missed and anger at the shambolic organisation.

Delegates waited in front of the Scottish Event Campus where thousands of officers were in place and erected a ring of steel as representatives of 200 nations gather to thrash out a deal to try to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Those attending – many of whom have flown in from around the world on planes – have already needed to go through a detailed accreditation process, including getting an official letter stating they are registered and using an app to verify their visual ID. They must also present evidence of a negative Covid lateral flow test.

As Government representatives gathered inside the Glasgow venue tonight Greta Thunberg denounced world leaders for failing to act on climate change to her fellow Cop26 protesters.

Speaking at a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the Cop26 summit, Swedish 18-year-old activist Miss Thunberg said that heads of government were not doing enough to save the planet from disaster.

She said: ‘No more blah blah blah, no more whatever the f*** they are doing inside there.

‘Inside Cop, there are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our future seriously, pretending to take the present seriously. Change is not going to come from inside there, that is not leadership – this is leadership… We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and the planet.’

Miss Thunberg arrived in Glasgow on Sunday by train and will take part in two large protests through the city later in the week.

Naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough asked attendees: ‘Is this how our story is due to end – a tale of the smartest species doomed by that all-too-human characteristic of failing to see the bigger picture in pursuit of short-term goals?’

And Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the outcome of the climate summit would be ‘life or death for millions of people’, suggesting that failure to act could be worse than leaders who ignored warnings about the Nazis in the 1930s – a comment he later apologised for.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today met with Miss Thunberg at Cop26, following the Swedish environmental activist’s arrival in Scotland on Saturday.

On Monday morning, Ms Thunberg along with fellow campaigner Vanessa Nakate, from Uganda, met with the First Minister, who tweeted: ‘The voices of young people like @GretaThunberg and @vanessa-vash must be heard loudly and clearly at Cop26 – the next few days should not be comfortable for leaders, the responsibility to act must be felt.’

Ms Thunberg has previously been critical of the Scottish Government’s climate policy, saying that the country was ‘not a leader on climate change’, as the First Minister had previously stated.

Scotland has pledged to cut emissions by 75% by 2030 and be net zero by 2045, but the last three years of targets have been missed.

Nicola Sturgeon has said that world leaders gathering in Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit should feel ‘bloody uncomfortable’ for not ‘doing enough’ to tackle global warming.

Ms Sturgeon, speaking as the crucial summit began, insisted: ‘Every climate promise must be kept. Frankly none of them are being kept right now.’

Speaking at an event hosted by the environmental organisation WWF, she told how she had just met Ms Thunberg and another young climate activist, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda.

UN chief accuses countries of treating nature ‘like a toilet’ and warns mining for fossil fuels is like ‘digging our own graves’ 

The UN secretary-general accused countries of ‘treating nature like a toilet’ today as he warned of a looming ‘climate catastrophe’.

Antonio Guterres insisted it is an ‘illusion’ to think there has been enough progress reducing carbon emissions, and mining for fossil fuels is like ‘digging our own graves’. 

The startling comparison came in a speech opening the COP26 session for world leaders. 

Mr Guterres said the world’s ‘addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink’.

He told the opening plenary of the conference in Glasgow: ‘We face a stark choice: either we stop it — or it stops us.

‘It’s time to say: enough. Enough of brutalising biodiversity. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet.

‘Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves. ‘ 

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘Those voices often, including for me, are really uncomfortable at times, because they make us confront the hard realities of our own lack of delivery.

‘But my goodness they are so important to shake the gatherings that will take place here over the next few days out of the sense of complacency that surrounds them all too often.’

She continued: ‘If we only face up to the easy, relatively easy things we won’t get anywhere. This has to be a moment that leaders, all of us, whether we are round that negotiating table or not, are held to account for the reality of what we promise not for the rhetoric of it.’

With leaders of more than 100 countries gathering in Glasgow for the talks, Ms Sturgeon urged campaigners to ‘make life really uncomfortable for any government, any leader that is not doing enough’.

She added: ‘We have all got to be pushed much harder much faster.

‘This summit should not feel comfortable for anybody in a position of leadership and responsibility, it should feel bloody uncomfortable because nobody yet is doing enough, that is the reality.’

Ahead of the summit, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that failure in Glasgow could mean that the Paris agreement from 2015 – in which leaders promised to work towards keeping global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees – would ‘crumple’.

Mr Johnson said: ‘If Glasgow fails, then the whole thing fails.

‘The Paris Agreement will have crumpled at the first reckoning.’

On Sunday, Prince Charles used his COP26 address to demand a ‘military-style campaign’ to mobilise trillions of dollars of private sector cash to ‘save our precious planet’.

The Duke of Cornwall said the pandemic had taught the world ‘timelines can be sped up dramatically’ when everyone ‘agrees on the urgency and the direction’.

The future king said top CEOs and businesses he had spoken to confirmed they were ready to do their part to protect the globe from climate change.

Où est le Président? Macron is nowhere to be seen as world leaders (many of whom he is at loggerheads with) hold ‘team photo’

by DAVID AVERRE for MailOnline

Where WAS Emmanuel Macron?

The French President, who is currently attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this week, was nowhere to be seen at yesterday’s evening reception.

World leaders including Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau capped off the first day of the conference with a lavish royal reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the Duchess of Cornwall all in attendance.

Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron had a frosty standoff in Glasgow on Monday morning

Macron confirmed yesterday just hours before the evening reception that France would not go ahead with retaliatory measures against Britain amid the two nations’ bitter dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights. 

He declared discussions between France, the UK and the European Commission would ‘continue tomorrow’ and ruled out any retaliation against Britain because ‘it’s not while we’re negotiating that we’re going to impose sanctions’.  

Macron’s backing down from retaliatory measures followed shortly after he came face to face with Australian PM Scott Morrison at the COP26 event, whom he publicly called a liar for his role in the submarine row. 

When asked by reporters at the climate summit whether Morrison lied to him before tearing up a $90billion submarine contract – a move labelled ‘clumsy’ by Joe Biden – President Macron replied: ‘I don’t think, I know.’  

Though the reason for Macron’s disappearance is as yet unknown, his highly-publicised quarrels with several world leaders at the event may well have caused the French President to make an early exit. 

At the start of the evening the Queen urged world leaders to ‘earn a place in history’ and ‘answer the call of those future generations’ in an impassioned speech to representatives.

Her Majesty, 95, who was forced to miss the conference after her overnight stay in hospital last month, told leaders via video ‘to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship’

After the monarch’s powerful speech, the Prime Minister said: ‘What we’ve got today, as Her Majesty alluded to, is the biggest gathering of world leaders in this country since the foundation of the UN at the end of the Second World War, and it’s quite an extraordinary historic event.  

‘But in a way, what we are doing today, is even more important, because we face nothing less than a mortal threat to our planet and to our civilisation, to our way of life.’

Prince Charles said the strength of the ‘global private sector’ was greater than governments and represented the only ‘real prospect’ of fundamental change.

He said: ‘So ladies and gentlemen, my plea today is for countries to come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required.

‘We know this will take trillions, not billions of dollars. We also know that countries, many which are burdened by heavy levels of debt, simply cannot afford to go green.

‘Here we need a vast, military style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector.

‘With trillions at its disposal, far beyond global GDP and with the greatest respects beyond even the government’s of the world’s leaders it offers the only real prospect of achieving a fundamental economic transition.

‘So how do we do it? First how do we get the private sector all pulling in the same direction?

‘After nearly two years now of consultation, CEOs have told me we need to bring together global industries to map out in very practical terms what it will take to make the transition.

‘We know from the pandemic the private sector can speed up timelines dramatically when everyone agrees on the urgency and the direction.

‘So each sector needs a clear strategy of getting innovations to mark it. Second, who pays and how?

‘We need to align private investment behind these industry strategies to help finance the transition effort, which means building the confidence of investors so the financial risk is reduced.

‘Investment is needed to transfer from coal to clean energy. If we can develop a pipeline of more sustainable and bankable projects at a sufficient scale it will attract sufficient investment.

‘Third which switches do we flick to enable these objectives?

‘More than 300 of the world’s leading CEOs and and investors have told me that along side the promises countries have made… they need clear market signals, agreed globally so they have the confidence to invest without the goalposts suddenly moving.

‘This is the framework I’ve offered on a Terracarter roadmap created by my stable markets initiative with nearly 100 specific actions for acceleration.

‘Together we’re working to drive trillions of dollars into support transition across ten of the most emitting and polluting industries.

‘They include energy, agriculture, transportation, health systems and fashion. The reality of today’s global supply chains means industry transition will effect every country and every producer in the world.

‘There is absolutely not doubt in my mind that the private sector is ready to play its part and to work with governments to find a way forward.’

The Prince also said the world has been put on ‘war footing’ due to the impact of climate change and loss of biodiversity.

He continued: ‘The pandemic has shown us just how devastating a global cross border threat can be.

‘Climate change and biodiversity loss are no different. in fact they pose an even greater existential threat.’

He went on: ‘To the extent we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.

‘Having the opportunity of consulting many of you myself over these past few months I know you all carry a heavy burden on your shoulders and you do not need me to tell you that the eyes and hopes of the world are upon you to act decisively because time has literally run out.’

World leaders unite to save earth’s forests: Heads of 100 nations – including China’s Xi and Brazil’s Bolsonaro – join £14bn COP pledge to end deforestation by 2030

By COLIN FERNANDEZ, Environment Correspondent, For The Daily Mail

The pledge to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 came at a Cop26 event hosted by Boris Johnson (pictured) yesterday. The pledge amounts to almost £14billion in public and private funding

More than 100 world leaders have committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

The pledge, at a Cop26 event hosted by Boris Johnson yesterday, amounts to almost £14billion in public and private funding.

Forests are the lungs of our planet, absorbing about one third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels every year, but we are losing them at an alarming rate.

An area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute.

Countries endorsing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use pledge include heavily forested nations such as Canada, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Together, they contain 85 per cent of the world’s forests, an area of more than 13million square miles.

The Prime Minister said: ‘Today, at Cop26, leaders have signed a landmark agreement to protect and restore the Earth’s forests.

‘These great teeming ecosystems – these cathedrals of nature – are the lungs of our planet. Forests support communities, livelihoods and food supply, and absorb the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. They are essential to our very survival.

‘With today’s unprecedented pledges, we will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian.’

Forests are the lungs of our planet, absorbing about one third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels every year, but we are losing them at an alarming rate. An area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute (pictured: deforestation in Brazil, 2021)

Countries endorsing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use pledge include heavily forested nations such as Canada, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (pictured: cattle graze on deforested land in Brazil, August 2020)

The UK will commit £1.5billion over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350million for tropical forests in Indonesia, and £200million for the Leaf Coalition, which finances replanting forests.

The UK will also contribute £200million, alongside 11 other donors, as part of a new £1.1billion fund to protect the Congo Basin.

The area is home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, which is threatened by industrial logging, mining and agriculture.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo said: ‘Indonesia is blessed as the most carbon-rich country in the world on vast rainforests, mangroves, oceans and peatlands. We are committed to protecting these critical carbon sinks and our natural capital for future generations.

‘We call on all countries to support sustainable development paths that strengthen the livelihoods of communities – especially indigenous, women and smallholders.’

Indonesian president Joko Widodo said: ‘Indonesia is blessed as the most carbon-rich country in the world on vast rainforests, mangroves, oceans and peatlands. We are committed to protecting these critical carbon sinks and our natural capital for future generations.’

Colombian president Ivan Duque said: ‘Colombia is proud to endorse the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. The declaration is a landmark commitment from countries to work together to end deforestation and all land degradation within the next decade.

‘Never before have so many leaders, from all regions, representing all types of forests, joined forces in this way and Colombia is committed to playing its part. We will enshrine in law a commitment to net-zero deforestation by 2030 and to protecting 30 per cent of our land and ocean resources by 2030.

‘Now we must all work in partnership with businesses, the finance sector, smallholder farmers, Indigenous peoples and local communities to create the conditions for forest-positive economies to grow and thrive.’

Campaigners welcomed the initiative. Justin Adams, executive director of the World Economic Forum’s Tropical Forest Alliance, said: ‘What we’re seeing at Cop26 could finally be the start of something transformational when it comes to stopping deforestation.

‘If we fail to stop deforestation, we will fail to limit climate change. The Glasgow declaration provides a strong political signal, and the powerful collective force of business and finance which aligns considerable economic muscle with these efforts, can shift our food and land use system in a way that we desperately need – for farmers, for consumers and for the planet.’

Nigel Purvis, CEO of Climate Advisers, said: ‘Glasgow is the biggest moment for forests and nature since Paris in 2015. Many more countries are making ambitious commitments to implement nature-based solutions. 

‘Glasgow is also producing the largest ever financial incentives for protecting forests, with unprecedented commitments from donor nations, investors and companies.’

The Daily Mail has supported tree planting with its Be a Tree Angel campaign.

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