At the UN COP26 session in Glasgow, Boris Johnson expressed his “pleasure at this progress” but added that it was “mixed with sadness.”
London, United Kingdom:
On Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised a worldwide agreement to accelerate climate change action as “really historic” and “the beginning of the end for coal power.”
However, he said that his “pleasure at this progress” at the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow was “laced with sadness” because all countries did not commit to phasing out hydrocarbons.
After two weeks of hard discussions, over 200 countries signed a worldwide agreement on Saturday to attempt to limit runaway global warming. Still, it fell short of what experts believe is required to keep dangerous rises under control.
In the final moments of the summit, India and China undermined the final agreement text by requesting that language be modified from “phase out” to “phase down,” causing Britain’s COP26 president Alok Sharma to apologise and declare the Asian powers needed to explain their decision.
“Those for whom weather change is now a matter of life and death, which can only watch as their islands are submerged, their farmland becomes desert, and their homes are battered by storms, requested a high level of ambition from this summit,” Johnson said.
“While many of us were willing to travel there,” he added, without mentioning India or China. “Unfortunately, this is the nature of diplomacy.” We may lobby, persuade, and encourage sovereign nations, but we can’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do.
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