Cop 26: Conference needs to mark 'beginning of the end of climate change,' Downing Street says

Cop26 needs to mark “the beginning of the end of climate change”, Downing Street has said, as world leaders will need to face up to a “critical moment” for the planet when they gather in Glasgow this weekend.

Activists from Ocean Rebellion wearing oil heads with 75-litres of fake oil, in front of the Hydro, Glasgow, as the city prepares for the Cop26 conference. (PA)

The success of the crucial summit “still hangs in the balance” with “too many countries doing too little” to help restrict rising temperatures to 1.5c.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge leaders to make good on their promises to the planet at a G20 meeting in Rome this weekend before he heads to Glasgow, but a number of key players such as China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have said that they will not make the trip to Scotland for face to face meetings.

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman that while more countries were now coming forward with commitments to net zero emissions more needed to be done if they were to meet the goal set in the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature increases.

Cop26 needs to mark the beginning of the end of climate change,” he said.

“The next few days are a critical moment for world leaders to demonstrate that they can show the climate ambition needed,” the spokesman said.

“The success of Cop26 still hangs in the balance.

“Too many countries are doing too little.”

The Prince of Wales will be among the figures travelling to both the G20 summit and Cop26, it has been announced.

Just days ago it was confirmed that the Queen will not be going to the climate change event having been advised to rest by her doctors.

Charles will give the opening address at the summit in Glasgow and has already warned world leaders heading to Cop that action is expected of them.

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It is expected that the nearly two-week-long event will attract protesters and campaigners urging leaders to take action.

Some have arrived in Glasgow before the delegations have even arrived at the airport.

Yesterday, members of Ocean Rebellion poured golden syrup designed to look like oil in front of the arena where the conference will be held, telling reporters that “The sticky oily mess was cleaned up by our dirty scrubbers, a band of ‘cleaners’ who’ll greenwash anyone’s dirty business.”

Elsewhere, other activists were pictured with bike locks around their necks attached to the Memorial Gates at the University of Glasgow calling for a Green New Deal developed by students and staff at the university.

Staff and students from at least one Yorkshire university will be among the delegates hoping to influence policy in the coming days.

Researchers from Sheffield University will be hoping to help identify practical solutions that could take on the climate crisis.

Duncan Cameron, Professor of Plant and Soil Biology and Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food said: “The aims of COP26 - securing net-zero emissions, adapting our communities and natural habitats for climate change and mobilising financial resources to fight the climate crisis - are crucial to our collective health, wellbeing and livelihoods.

“Frankly, our entire way of life depends on the success of our action to tackle climate change.”