COP 26: “It’s One Minute to Midnight. We Have to Act Now”

COP26 u Glasgowu/ Foto: UNclimatechange, Flickr

The UN Conference, critical for the prevention of the most damaging effects of climate change began on Monday, and its mission is rather discouraging due to the failure of a large number of industrial countries to reach an agreement on ambitious new obligations. GOP26 Conference in the Scottish city of Glasgow began a day after the G20 summit of the biggest world economies did not succeed in committing to the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the deadline established as essential for preventing the most extreme global warming. Instead, their discussions in Rome only recognized the crucial importance of stopping the net emissions of harmful gases up to or by the mid-century but did not define a timeframe for the gradual elimination of coal in their countries and watered down the promises on decreasing the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas much more noxious than carbon dioxide.

“Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now”, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister said in his opening address at the Conference and added:”If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow. If we don’t act now, it will be the children not yet born and their children who will judge us.”

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres told the gathered leaders that in case of the failure of the Conference on global warming they should return each year with better proposals instead of every five years as has been the case up to now. “If the commitments are insufficient at the end of this COP, countries should re-evaluate their national climate plans and politics – not every five years, but every year and every moment”. The head of the UN said that often there is a lack of credibility and excess confusion in regard to the reduction and zero-emission rate goals. He pointed out that the objective of limiting the global temperature growth by 1.5 degrees should be abided by, calling for solidarity with the developing countries.

“The dependence of the world on fossil fuels shoves mankind to the brink of existence. The choice is simple: either we will put an end to it or it will put an end to us. It is time to say ‘enough’; enough to the destruction of biodiversity; enough to kill ourselves with carbon; enough to treat nature as a toilet; enough to burn forests, drilling and digging the ground. We are digging our own graves”, the Secretary-General concluded dramatically.

About 120 world leaders were present at the Conference for saving world climate, among which the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković.

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