Politics

Boris Johnson warns COP26 deal ‘hangs in the balance’ & begs world leaders to ‘pull out all the stops’

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BORIS Johnson today warned that a COP26 deal to keep global warming in check “hangs in the balance” and begged world leaders to pull out “all the stops” to get one.

The PM made a last-ditch dash to Glasgow to try and urge chiefs to seal an agreement – but warned it may have to go into “extra time”.

Boris called on world leaders to stop standing in the way of progress on climate change

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Boris called on world leaders to stop standing in the way of progress on climate changeCredit: Reuters

The PM warned tired negotiators that progress wouldn’t be easy, despite a huge push forwards.

He insisted “we have moved the ball a long way down the pitch” but warned they were now “stuck in a bit of a rolling maul”.

With just hours to go before the summit wraps on Friday night, he called on leaders to bridge the gap rapidly on plans to cut greenhouse gases before it’s too late.

The Prime Minister ordered world chiefs to “grasp the opportunity” of a planet-saving pact or “stand in the way” of progress, risking angering millions of people.

As he dashed up to Glasgow to bang heads together, he warned the whole aim to keep 1.5 degrees C of warming in reach “is in the balance” as not enough progress has been made to slash emissions.

Ex-PM Gordon Brown said it was an “admission of failure” that the draft deal admits leaders will have to come back AGAIN next year with more targets.

Negotiators from 197 countries are due to go home on Friday night after two gruelling weeks of discussions.

But the PM told a press conference in Scotland: “I don’t see why we shouldn’t go to extra time if we have to” to secure a “genuine roadmap” to save the world.

He held talks with chiefs at the Glasgow gathering

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He held talks with chiefs at the Glasgow gatheringCredit: PA
Boris got the train up to Glasgow for one final push

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Boris got the train up to Glasgow for one final pushCredit: PA

He admitted that any landmark agreement would not “fix it in one go” and it was “impossible” to stop climate change in its tracks.

The PM pleaded with world leaders: “We are firmly in the hard yards now. We need to pull out all the stops if we’re going to do what we came here to do.

“The world will find it absolutely incomprehensible if we fail to deliver, the backlash will be immense.”

In a mix of his football and rugby analogies the PM joked: “We’ve moved the ball a long way down the pitch, but we’re stuck in a bit of a rolling maul.”

Summit President Alok Sharma said he was fighting “tooth and nail” to force an ambitious final deal, but critics slammed the weak text which has been agreed so far.

An early draft, which is set to be finalised in the next 48 hours, called for the end of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels for the first time, but had no timeline.

And the cash for poorer countries to go green won’t be reached for at least another two years, either.

China, Saudi Arabia and other big emitters were accused of blocking efforts to reach agreement.

Alok Sharma is pushing all nations to come to an agreement

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Alok Sharma is pushing all nations to come to an agreementCredit: Alamy

And the EU and US were singled out as not being ambitious enough to lead the world into action.

One source said: “It’s like playing international dominoes, if one falls in line, they all do.”

And a UNEP Emissions Gap report confirms that total emissions cuts at Glasgow amount to just 4.8 billion tonnes, less than a fifth of what’s required.

It came after a major report warned the world was still on track for 2.4 degrees of warming, despite all the progress made at the summit.

Labour dubbed it “Government greenwash in Glasgow” and said ministers had moved the goalposts on major promises.

Ed Miliband lashed out: “It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that the Prime Minister sees a day trip to the COP as a useful way of distracting from the sleaze surrounding the Tory Party rather than a chance to get a grip and engage in the substance like a statesman.”

We were 5-1 down in humanity’s match against climate change, Boris says – but now we’re looking at extra-time


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