Cop26 Glasgow news: What does Cop26 stand for? Dates, road closures and more
Rishi Sunak has announced in the budget that the government will continue to freeze fuel duty, a policy that has made it increasingly cheaper to drive compared to more environmentally sustainable alternatives.
The announcement has prompted anger from activists, with Green MP Caroline Lucas warning that the chancellor did not “get the memo on the climate emergency”.
The Prince of Wales will deliver the opening address at the Cop26 UN climate change summit, Clarence House has announced.
Charles, who delivered the opening speech at Cop21 in Paris in 2015, will speak to delegates gathered in Glasgow for the opening ceremony on Monday hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It comes only days before the Cop26 summit is due to start where nations will gather to discuss climate change solutions. The chancellor also cut taxes on domestic flights, making journeys within the UK cheaper.
UK Environment Bill won’t pass parliament before Cop26
Rees Mogg also told MPs the UK’s flagship environment legislation will fail to clear parliament before the Cop26 climate talks begin in Glasgow.
It is hoped the stand-off between the two the Commons and the Lords will end next month and the bill can then receive royal assent to become law.
On Tuesday, the government climbed down over legal controls against dumping raw sewage into waterways following a backlash inside and outside parliament.
We still need to use fossil fuels ahead of net zero transition, Rees-Mogg tells Commons
Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the UK will still “need to use fossil fuels” ahead of the transition to net zero as he faced calls to explain why the government supports opening the new Cambo oilfield.
He told the Commons: “We have to remember that the target of net zero is by 2050, we are going to need to use fossil fuels in the interim. It is fanciful to think otherwise and if we are going to use them we are going to need to be economic.”
Mr Rees-Mogg also said: “The vision that this government has is one that is based on improving people’s standards of living. That’s what the Budget was about yesterday and that’s what the green policy is about. It is not about cave dwelling, it is not hair shirt greenery.”
Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire had said it was “embarrassing” that chancellor Rishi Sunak had slashed air passenger duty on short haul domestic flights in the Budget ahead of Cop26.
She added: “The government I am afraid to say working with the SNP Scottish government seem to be supporting new oilfields in the North Sea.
“Will he ask the business secretary to come to the house and explain why the government are saying that we must move beyond fossil fuels but meanwhile opening the new Cambo oilfield?”
Will presidents Xi and China attend Cop26?
President Putin has confirmed he will not attend Cop26, citing the Covid pandemic as his reason for not wanting to make the trip to Glasgow.
Downing Street aides fear China’s Xi won’t make an appearance either and will instead send a deputy.
More below from my colleague Joe Sommerlad:
Superpower’s leader thought to be undecided on Glasgow summit and could send deputy in his stead
UK and Italy co-hosting crucial global climate summit in Glasgow
Full schedule for this year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow
Next week’s summit will unfold over 12 days amid intense pressure on world leaders to walk away with a plan.
Here’s the full schedule of events:
Cop26 programme: Full schedule and agenda
What does Cop26 stand for and why does it matter?
Cop26 will finally commence in Glasgow at the end of October, a year on from its postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hosted by the UK under the presidency of former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy, the summit at the city’s SEC Centre will bring together the biggest gathering of world leaders ever assembled on British soil over the course of its 12-day run from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November.
But what does the term ‘Cop’ stand for and why is the summit important? My colleague Joe Sommerlad reports:
What does Cop26 stand for?
Britain drafts Cop26 deal on global aviation emissions
Britain is asking countries to push for a global target to cut aviation emissions to levels compatible with the Paris Agreement, under a deal due to be announced at the COP26 climate change summit, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
As Cop26 host, Britain is rallying countries to join an “International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition” and agree to push the United Nations’ aviation agency to set a long-term target to reduce emissions from international flights.
Countries that sign the deal would commit to supporting the adoption by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of an “ambitious long-term aspirational goal that is compatible with net-zero global emissions by 2050”, the draft said.
The aim is to build momentum for ICAO to set tougher climate targets when its nearly 200 member countries meet in September 2022.
Two Olympians among XR protesters blockading oil refinery
Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion, including Team GB Olympians Laura Baldwin and Etienne Stott, have broken into an oil refinery at Fawley in Hampshire.
The group used their pink boat — the Beverly Geronimo — to blockade the main entrance to the ExxonMobil refinery, while other protesters cut through the site’s electric fence and have climbed two 50ft oil silos, the group said in a statement.
The protesters are demanding the government stops all fossil fuel investments and are also calling for Exxon Mobil to stop its expansion plans for the Fawley refinery.
My colleague Alastair Jamieson reports:
Decarbonisation needed to limit ‘death, destruction and mass extinction’ from climate change, group says
China to present ‘updated climate plans today’
China will submit its updated nationally determined contribution climate plan later today, EU sources hear.
NDC’s are countries’ targets for reducing emissions, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
According to EURACTIV journalist Frédéric Simon, “insider sources in Brussels” briefed the news, which is to be confirmed.
It is widely expected that China’s President Xi will not attend the talks in Glasgow, raising fears that Beijing won’t commit to new targets to tackle climate change.
Shell not attending Cop because oil and gas giant ‘not welcome’
A climate summit aimed at reducing emissions might not be a whole lot of fun for oil and gas executives.
And it looks like Shell, the Anglo-Dutch multinational, is opting to stay away.
According to Emily Gosden, energy editor at The Times, the firm won’t be rocking up to Glasgow because “we were told we were not welcome so we will not be there”.
$1bn plan to save critical Congo Basin forest could allow more logging, leaked documents reveal
A $1bn plan backed by the UK and EU to protect the world’s second-largest rainforest could allow for more industrial logging that it is feared will wipe out the forest within decades, according to leaked documents seen by The Independent.
Our New York-based senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle reports:
Exclusive: Sources close to negotiations fear the Democratic Republic of Congo’s decision to lift a ban on new logging concessions will be allowed to stand in the European group’s haste to ready a Cop26 announcement