A climate summit to be held in Glasgow in November will fail unless more countries follow Britain’s lead and make far more ambitious plans to cut emissions, the United Nations has said.
Only two of the world’s 18 largest greenhouse gas emitters — the UK and the European Union — have so far submitted plans for the COP26 summit that lay out extensive commitments and policies to reduce emissions. Other big emitters are either yet to submit updated strategies or have drafted plans that are too weak to achieve the 2015 Paris climate target of limiting global temperature rise to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
“This report shows that current levels of climate ambition are very far from putting us on a pathway that will meet our Paris agreement goals,” Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN climate change body, said. “While we acknowledge the recent political shift in momentum towards stronger climate action, decisions to accelerate and broaden climate action everywhere must be taken now.”
Alok Sharma, the COP26 president and former business secretary, said: “This report should serve as an urgent call to action. We must recognise that the window for action to safeguard our planet is closing fast.”
Analysis from Climate Action Tracker, an independent group, suggests that of the major economies to have submitted plans, the UK, EU, Argentina, Chile, Norway, Kenya and Ukraine increased their ambitions. Japan, South Korea, Russia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia submitted plans that failed to improve on their 2015 targets.