Climate change: ‘Impossible’ to limit rise in temperatures if COP26 summit fails – as MPs say UK has set out ‘little detail’ on goals

26th April 2021 by Emma Goring

COP26 will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners, all calling for a new plan to tackle global warming.

The UK government has set out “little detail” on what it wants to achieve during COP26, amid concerns that it may be “impossible” to limit the rise in Earth’s temperature if the climate summit fails.

That is the warning from the Foreign Affairs Committee in its report, A Climate For Ambition: Diplomatic Preparations For COP26.

The report described the summit, to be held in Glasgow in November, as the most significant UN climate summit since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was negotiated.

The report welcomed the government’s objectives for its presidency of the conference, but added: “Beyond this announcement there has been little detail on what the UK government wants to achieve.

“Setting ambitious expectations will be crucial to securing the success of the conference and the government will need to do more than just set out broad ambitions.”

The report said: “COP26 will be a key moment for global climate action.

“We have been encouraged by the number of countries that have expressed the importance of the climate agenda in international fora; COP26 must now translate these words into actions.

“The UK presidency will need to mobilise public engagement so that as countries come forward with ambitious climate targets, those promises are backed by people around the world.

“COP26 will not be considered a success unless the UK presidency sets the world on a path to net zero, secures an ambitious green finance package, and helps to build resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The word urgent is totally applicable to the current crisis that we are in because countries are simply not getting the job done.

“Even if we did everything that we set out to do in the Paris Agreement, the Earth’s temperature is going to increase a very significant amount, perhaps as much as 3.7C or more.”

Meanwhile, the US and China have agreed to co-operate on the climate crisis following two days of talks in Shanghai.