After years of planning, and a one-year delay due to the pandemic, COP26 in Glasgow officially opened on Sunday.
The opening ceremony began with a minute's silence for victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The COP presidency was then ceremonially handed over from Carolina Schmidt, Chile's Minister of the Environment and the COP25 president, to Alok Sharma, a British Member of Parliament and the President of COP26.
In his opening speech, Sharma struck an optimistic note, saying: "We know what we need to do. Because six years ago in Paris, we agreed our shared goal. We said we will protect people and nature from the effects of climate change."
Sunday's event is mostly a ceremonial occassion before world leaders start the hard task of negotiations from Monday.
The UK is hosting this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP), in partnership with Italy, which is seen as crucial to bring climate change under control, reports the BBC.
Delayed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, COP26 aims to keep alive a target of capping global warming at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels - the limit scientists say would avoid its most destructive consequences.
More than 25,000 people are descending on the Scottish city of Glasgow for the two-week event, with large protests expected. Nearly 200 countries are being asked for more ambitious targets to reduce their carbon emissions.
Here are the latest updates from COP26 -
October, 31 2021 - 10:05 PM
UN secretary general says G20 summit did not fulfill his hopes but did not bury them either
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that the G20 summit did not fulfill his hopes, but did not bury them either.
"While I welcome the G20's recommitment to global solutions, I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled — but at least they are not buried," Guterres tweeted.
"Onwards to COP26 in Glasgow to keep the goal of 1.5 degrees alive and to implement promises on finance and adaptation for people & planet."
October, 31 2021 - 09:56 PM
Italy pledges to triple climate funding to developing countries
Italian PM Mario Draghi said his country will nearly triple its climate finance commitment to developing countries to $1.4 billion a year for the next five years.
It is part of commitments he's announcing from the G20 group of the world's largest economies to rein in climate change.
Rich countries have pledged to give poorer countries $100 billion a year but are yet to meet that goal.
"We are proud of these results but we must remember it is only the start," Draghi said.
He said world leaders must now focus on implementation as "we will be judged on what we do not what we say".
October, 31 2021 - 09:46 PM
Extreme weather events are 'the new norm': World Meteorological Organisation
Extreme weather events like powerful heat waves and devastating floods are now the new normal, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
WMO's State of the Climate"" report for 2021 highlights a world that is "changing before our eyes," reports the BBC.
The 20-year temperature average from 2002 is on course to exceed 1C above pre-industrial levels for the first time and global sea levels rose to a new high in 2021, according to the study.
October, 31 2021 - 09:10 PM
Pay up, or perish with us - Malawi president's blunt message
Malawi's president has a strong message to the rich, developed nations that are yet to meet a promise to pay £100bn to poorer countries each year to deal with climate change.
"It’s not a charity act. So pay up or perish with us," Lazarus Chakwera said.
October, 31 2021 - 08:31 PM
'We have run out of excuses' - UN general assembly president
The UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid told delegates the world was facing an existential crisis which it had the capacity to avert. But, he said, we are "simply not doing enough".
Shahid, who also serves as the foreign minister of the Maldives, said: "We have had decades to argue the facts about climate change...yet we have still failed to act with the conviction or determination required."
On a more optimistic note, he argued the world was entirely capable of turning this around if leaders so chose.
"We have run out of excuses. It is time to do the right thing."
October, 31 2021 - 08:04 PM
'We stand at a pivotal point in history': UNFCCC executive secretary
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia has told the delegates at COP26: “We stand at a pivotal point in history”.
She urged countries to come together to make progress in Glasgow, saying every day that delays the implementation of the Paris agreement “is a wasted day”, reports the BBC.
"We must look beyond the numbers to the humans they represent," she said.
"The data is unequivocal – we must limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C by the end of the century. We must use the science and act upon it."
Consider the trust vested in you by billions – and achieve success, not just for our generation, but for all generations to come," she added.
October, 31 2021 - 07:49 PM
G20 leaders final statement offers few commitments on climate
Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies agreed on a final statement on Sunday that urges "meaningful and effective" action to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius but offers few concrete commitments.
The result of days of tough negotiation among diplomats leaves huge work to be done at a broader United Nations climate summit in Scotland, to where most of the G20 leaders will fly directly from Rome.
The G20 bloc, which includes Brazil, China, India, Germany and the United States, accounts for an estimated 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
October, 31 2021 - 07:11 PM
France pledges $7 billion per year to help underdeveloped countries achieve ecological transitions
France will devote $7 billion a year to help developing and underdeveloped countries achieve ecological transitions, French President Macron said Sunday as the delegates were gathering for the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“I have a clear message: COP26 can succeed, it must succeed!” Macron said in a series of posts on Twitter.
“The COP26 will succeed if the countries with the most resources mobilise 100 billion dollars to support the transition of the countries that have less.”
During his meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Macron told the British leader that France is ready to support the British presidency at the conference, as the two governments try to de-escalate their recent fishing disputes.
“The commitment of France and the United Kingdom to climate is indeed a factor of rapprochement between the two countries,” said an Élysée press release published after the meeting.
October, 31 2021 - 07:05 PM
Pope Francis hopes world leaders listen to the cry of the Earth
Pope Francis urged world leaders on Sunday, ahead of COP26, to listen to the “cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor,” as they suffer the consequences of a devastating climate change.
“The United Nations summit on climate change, COP26, begins today in Glasgow, Scotland. Let us pray that the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor will be heard," the Pope said during his weekly Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican city, reports the CNN.
The Pope then led a prayer for the success of COP26 in bringing “real hope to future generations."
Pope Francis will not be attending the climate summit in Glasgow.
October, 31 2021 - 06:40 PM
UK names an Antarctic glacier 'Glasgow Glacier' to highlight the climate emergency
The United Kingdom announced it would be naming an “enormous body of Ice in Antarctica” as the “Glasgow Glacier" to highlight the importance of COP26, held in the Scottish city.
The name was suggested by a team of scientists from the University of Leeds who had put forward climate-themed names with the support of the UK government, a Downing Street statement said Sunday, reports the CNN.
“By naming this glittering giant of nature after the city where next week humankind will gather to fight for the future of the planet, we have a stark reminder of what we are working to preserve," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the statement.
The statement highlighted the work of researcher Heather Selley, who is part of the team of scientists from the University of Leeds. Selley said that 14 glaciers in the Getz Basin of West Antarctica have “sped up by an average of 25% between 1994 and 2018 due to climate change."
Her study, which was published in February, found that 315 gigatonnes of ice have been lost from the region in the last 25 years, "adding the equivalent of 126 million Olympic-sized swimming pools of water to the world’s oceans," the statement said.
October, 31 2021 - 06:09 PM
Protesters take to the streets of Edinburgh
As COP26 gets under way in Glasgow, a so-far small group of activists staged demonstrations in Edinburgh.
130 protesters marched through The Meadows in Scotland's capital city, reports the BBC.
Among the group, Allan MacIntyre said: “I am here because I want politicians to do more to stem climate change and I hope COP encourages systemic change.”
October, 31 2021 - 05:52 PM
The window to keep 1.5 degrees in reach is closing - COP26 president
COP26 President Alok Sharma spoke at the COP26 opening ceremony in Glasgow, adding that the window to keep 1.5 degrees in reach is closing.
He said during the pandemic "climate change did not take time off".
A recent UN report which said the past five years had been the hottest on record since 1850 was a "wake up call for all of us and it made clear that the lights are flashing red on the climate's dashboard", he said.
It told us that human activity was unequivocally the cause of global warming and the window to keep this warming limited to 1.5 was closing, he added.
In his opening speech, Sharma told COP26 "we must act now to keep 1.5 alive".
"Six years ago, in Paris, we agreed our shared goals" he said, referring to the 2015 agreement in the French capital to keep global warming to below 2C and endeavour to reach 1.5C.
"COP26 is our last best hope to keep 1.5 in reach," Sharma told delegates.
"I believe we can move negotiations forward and launch a decade of ever increasing ambition and action... but we need to hit the ground running.
"If we act now and we act together we can protect our precious promise and ensure where Paris promised, Glasgow delivers."
October, 31 2021 - 05:33 PM
COP25 presidency 'a major honour' - outgoing president
The outgoing President of the COP, Carolina Schmidt (from Chile) opened COP26 by saying she is "delighted we can meet in person" after a year's delay due to the pandemic.
She praised the work of the outgoing presidency, saying Chile - and Latin America as a whole - had stepped up when others were stepping back.
Schmidt said the Chilean presidency had "maintained the momentum even in the hardest times brought about by the pandemic".
"It was a major honour," she added.
October, 31 2021 - 05:19 PM
G20 leaders have reached deal on climate language in final communique - source
The leaders of the Group of 20 major economies have reached an agreement on the wording of the final communique which will be released at the end of their two-day summit, a G20 official told Reuters on Sunday.
Further details were not immediately available.
Diplomats have been negotiating hard-to-bridge differences on how to tackle global warming, with phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, ending coal power and a firm date for achieving net zero carbon emissions among the main sticking points, sources said earlier on Sunday.
October, 31 2021 - 05:02 PM
G20 nations need to accelerate phasing out of coal power - Draghi
A summit of the world's 20 richest economies must agree to accelerate the phasing out of coal and invest more in renewable energy, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told fellow G20 leaders on Sunday.
"The decisions we take today will have a direct impact on the success of the (UN) Glasgow climate summit and ultimately on our ability to tackle the climate crisis," Draghi said, referring to the COP26 conference which kicks off on Monday.
"We must accelerate the phasing out of coal and invest more in renewable energy. We also need to make sure to use available resources wisely, which means that we should become able to adapt our technologies and lifestyle to this new world."
October, 31 2021 - 04:46 PM
COP26 is 'the last chance saloon,' says Prince Charles
Prince Charles has told the leaders of the world's largest economies, and largest emitters, that they have "an overwhelming responsibility to generations unborn", calling COP26 in Glasgow "the last chance saloon".
Speaking at the G20 summit in Rome, he called on governments to work with the private sector to try to create the investment in green infrastructure, energy and new jobs needed to meet the 1.5C target, which scientists say is quickly moving out of reach, reports the BBC.
October, 31 2021 - 04:39 PM
'Sometimes you need to anger people' - Greta Thunberg
Climate activist Greta Thunberg has said "sometimes you need to anger some people" to have an impact on public perception.
"We are activists because we are very positive that we can actually change [the course of events]," she said.
Thunberg is one of the thousands of activists who will be taking to the streets of Glasgow during this summit.
Greta Thunberg was mobbed by crowds yesterday as she arrived on a "climate train" from Amsterdam carrying delegates and youth activists.
Asked if she might stand for office, she told the BBC it was more effective to change narratives "from the streets" rather than from "the inside".
October, 31 2021 - 04:36 PM
G20 leaders struggle to secure climate breakthrough at Rome summit
Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies holding their first face-to-face summit in two years, struggled on Sunday to bridge differences over how to combat global warming ahead of a crucial United Nations conference on climate change.
Diplomats worked through the night seeking agreement on the wording of the traditional final communique. But there was no sign of significant progress, an official for one of the delegations said, declining to be named.
"The fight against climate change is the defining challenge of our times," Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who chairs the G20 this year, told his fellow leaders as he opened the day's discussions.
"Either we act now, face the cost of the transition and succeed in moving our economy to a more sustainable path or we delay, pay a much higher price later and risk failing."
With drafts of the communique showing scant results in terms of new commitments to curb pollution or greenhouse gases, climate scientists and activists https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/thousands-demonstrate-rome-g20-disc... are likely to be disappointed unless late breakthroughs are made.
The G20 bloc - which includes Brazil, China, India, Germany and the United States - accounts for an estimated 80% of the global gas emissions that scientists say must be sharply reduced to avoid climate catastrophe.
October, 31 2021 - 04:26 PM
'World's moment of truth'- UK PM Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the summit will be the "world's moment of truth".
Speaking before the two-week conference, he urged leaders to make the most of it.
"The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away," he said.
October, 31 2021 - 04:00 PM
Failure to stem temperatures 'unimaginable' for Marshall Islands
Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, says if global temperatures rise above 1.5C, it will be "unimaginable" for the 60,000 people who live in her country.
She said sea levels were already rising and "creating inundations" on a yearly basis in the chain of islands in the Pacific, reports the BBC.
She described COP26 as "a hugely important moment" and offers a warning to the world.
"We are going to be hit earliest and hardest, but this crisis is going to affect us all."
October, 31 2021 - 03:45 PM
'We expected more from China'
COP26 President Alok Sharma has said that the summit "expected more from China."
"It moved forward somewhat since 2015 but of course we expected more," he said.
He called COP26 a "real opportunity" for China to " step up and show futher leadership."
Sharma said that the UK has pledged to stop international coal financing and domestic coal will start to go down from 2026 but said "we need to see the detail".
China, the world's largest emitter, recently boosted coal output due to a power crisis.
Sharma added: "I want to see more commitment from all countries here but ultimately this will come down to what we are able to negotiate."
According to Climate Action Tracker, an international group of scientists and policy experts, China's current actions to meet its commitments are "highly insufficient".
October, 31 2021 - 03:30 PM
The world needs to come together - COP president
COP26 President Alok Sharma said climate change is a "huge challenge that we face collectively".
"The world needs to come together and ensure that we are doing our bit to limit global temperature rises," he said, reports the BBC.
He added that there has been progress since the 2015 COP summit Paris, when all the world's countries came together in an agreement pledging to tackle climate change and keep warming to below 2C and ideally 1.5C by 2100.
The UN recently said the world was ere on track for 2.7C - but Sharma and UK PM Boris Johnson want to use this conference to "keep 1.5 alive".