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Concerns grow that UN climate summit may end in failure

Global Warming Policy Forum

As seasoned observers of dozens of UN climate summits we have been warning for some time that emerging nations’ inexorable rejection of Joe Biden’s and Boris Johnson’s Net Zero demands are threatening to turn Cop26 into Flop26.

The Times now reports that there are growing fears among ministers that the UN climate conference in Glasgow later this year may end in failure with officials blaming an incompetent COP26 team: “Several government sources said the UK’s preparations for Cop26 compared poorly to previous events.”

Meanwhile most G20 countries are desisting to make any new emissions pledges, holding their cards close to their vests. These are clear signs that emerging and developing nations regard Western threats of a carbon border tax as a hostile act that would be countered by retaliation. Boris Johnson now finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has been badly advised by diplomatic amateurs blinded by green ideology.

There are no easy ways out of this mess of his own making. A Western retreat leading to another damp squib and a non-committal COP communique is now the most likely outcome.

Prince Charles to address Cop26 as Boris Johnson feels the heat

The Prince of Wales will address Cop26, it emerged yesterday, amid concerns that the UN climate conference in November may end in failure.

The government hopes his presence at the pivotal event will help to secure a global deal that keeps alive hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted this week that the 1.5C limit, above which impacts of climate change would rapidly escalate, would be reached within two decades even in the most optimistic scenario. But it said immediate, rapid and sustained emissions cuts could bring global warming back under the limit in the second half of the century.

The Times understands that the prince will attend Cop26 in Glasgow in person. His address is expected during the “world leaders summit” at the start of the two-week conference.

The prince attended Cop21 in Paris in 2015 when he said climate change was the greatest threat facing humanity.

Boris Johnson’s hopes of making Cop26 a success depend on the willingness of other major economies to follow the UK by making ambitious new commitments on climate change.

Alok Sharma, the cabinet minister leading preparations for Cop26, expressed disappointment on Monday that only eight of the G20 countries had submitted more ambitious climate targets, as they are expected to do every five years under the Paris agreement.

China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Australia are among the countries yet to do so.

Pete Betts, the UK and EU’s lead negotiator at Cop21 in Paris, said it was vital that China, responsible for 27 per cent of global emissions, came forward with an enhanced target.

The prime minister is facing pressure from all sides over Cop26. Green lobby groups are demanding that he set out details of how Britain will hit net zero emissions by 2050, while a group of about 30 Tory MPs are increasingly concerned about the impact on the cost of living for their constituents.

Allegra Stratton, the government’s spokeswoman for Cop26, faced criticism after suggesting people should not rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher as one of a number of “green steps”. The prime minister has also been dragged into the debate over how the UK will replace gas boilers. [….]

While Johnson is expected to take an increasingly high-profile role as the summit approaches, one Whitehall source feared it would be too late.

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