Politics

COP26 is last chance for world leaders to buck up & protect the planet for generations to come


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THE Sun’s survey on Monday said it all.

The numbers taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint, increase recycling and reduce waste has increased hugely in the past two years.

Now, the Sun’s readers argue, is the time for the world’s leaders to follow suit.

Now is the time for world premiers to show real leadership and step up in Glasgow

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Now is the time for world premiers to show real leadership and step up in GlasgowCredit: Alamy

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

This weekend the 120 heads of state who will gather in Glasgow for COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, will have a chance to show they are ready to meet the expectations of the people they represent.

The decisions they take can really make a difference, not just for the current generation but for decades, even centuries, to come.

Six years ago the politicians agreed the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2C over pre-industrial levels, and preferably no more than 1.5C.

They pledged to produce individual national programmes to curb emissions to ensure that, once these programmes were put in place, the world would be on target to meet the Paris goals.

This week a United Nations report warned that the world is emitting more CO2 than ever, with record emissions last year.

The overwhelming task facing the world’s leaders in Glasgow is to put the world back on track to meet the Paris goals.

Bracing message They must prove themselves ready to listen to the revolution of rising environmental expectations.

What is my personal wish list?

No1: That India, China and Australia set out their own detailed plans to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in the next ten years and achieve them.

No2: That President Bolsonaro of Brazil takes steps to end the tragic wave of deforestation in the Amazon and that similar action is taken in the Congo Basin and the forests of South-East Asia, particularly Indonesia.

The Sun's survey showed our readers want countries to step up on climate change
The Sun’s survey showed our readers want countries to step up on climate change

These forests are the lungs of the planet. If this means we have to stop consuming palm oil and other forest products, so be it.

No3: There is a massive effort to reduce the discharge of plastic waste into the environment, particularly the world’s oceans.

No4: There should be big private investment in a transformative economy.

In terms of COP26’s overarching goals, I would like to see the net zero carbon goal of 2050 formally adopted by the Glasgow meeting, and a strong statement by world leaders on the need to protect forests and nature, and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030.

I would like to see rich nations guarantee adequate funds for poorer nations to adapt to the climate situation which, in so many respects, they themselves have not been responsible for.

Finally, the time has surely come for carbon taxes.

The G7 meeting in Carbis Bay last summer rather missed the opportunity to make this point. Some bracing message from Glasgow on this theme would surely not go amiss.

Stanley Johnson is International Ambassador for the Conservative Environment Network.

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NINTCHDBPICT000542205321Credit: Andrew Parsons

Join The Sun’s Green Team

THE Sun today encourages its army of readers to make at least one lifestyle change to slow the advance of climate change.

Everyone can get involved.

We’ve teamed up with the global campaign Count Us In to calculate how much carbon you will be saving by ditching old habits.

Remember even small changes help.

Find a step that’s right for you and your family. Keep it up for at least two months and see how you do. It might become a habit.

When you’re ready, try another step. All these will add to change. We’ll get there together.

Visit thesun.co.uk/pledge and pledge to one or more lifestyle changes.

It could save you money and all of your actions will go toward a global goal of getting a billion people to make changes.

1.     Eat more plants – Going meat-free for a day brings the same carbon saving as not driving for a month.

2.     Cut food waste – The average UK family throws away £700 of food a year.

3.     Turn down heating – With energy prices rocketing this will save you money.

4.     Insulate your home – Stop heating the sky with heat escaping through your roof.

5.  Repair and re-use – We ditch the equivalent of 250 t-shirts a year.

6.  Walk or cycle one extra journey a day – petrol cars emit twice as much pollution in their first five minutes of use, so even short journeys add to climate change.

Boris Johnson admits he’s ‘very worried it all might go wrong’ & leaders may FAIL to get global COP26 deal





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