British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that COP26 UN Climate Change Conference is “a turning point” for the world.
“I think the Glasgow COP26 is a turning point for the world. And it’s the moment when we have to grow up and take our responsibilities,” Johnson told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York following the closing of the Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action.
Calling on the rich countries to honor their pledge to provide each year 100 billion U.S. dollars for the climate action in the developing countries, the prime minister said that “it is the developing world that is bearing the brunt of catastrophic climate change in the forms of hurricanes and fires and floods and the real long-term economic damage that they face.”
“It’s the developed world that over 200 years has put the carbon in the atmosphere that is causing this acceleration of climate change and, say, it really is up to us to help them,” he added.
Earlier, Johnson told the roundtable that “history will judge” the world’s richest nations if they fail to deliver on their pledge to commit 100 billion dollars in annual climate aid ahead of COP26. He placed the chances of securing the money before November at “six out of 10.”
“We cannot let climate action become another victim of coronavirus. Let us be the leaders who secure the very health of the planet for our children, grandchildren and generations to come,” Johnson said at the event.
The prime minister also assured his country “will lead by example, keeping the environment on the global agenda and serving as a launch pad for a global green industrial revolution.”
However, he warned that “no one country can turn the tide, it would be akin to bailing out a liner with a single bucket.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held an informal, closed-door roundtable with a small but representative group of Heads of State and Government.
The Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action followed the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which signaled a “code red for humanity”.
The roundtable addressed gaps in urgent actions on climate mitigation, finance and adaptation. It was a chance for national leaders to demonstrate solidarity and ambition to keep the world’s 1.5C temperature goal within reach. It sought to ensure that by the November climate talks in Glasgow, countries have resources to boost climate action and protect their people from climate impacts.