Boris Johnson has called on China to make “more progress” on its climate change commitments at Cop26, while urging the country to commit to peaking its Co2 emissions before 2030.
Johnson said as world leaders began to leave the United Nations summit in Glasgow today that “we’re keeping the pressure up” on China to commit to a global climate change agreement over the next two weeks.
Johnson has said the goal of the summit is to “keep 1.5 alive” as negotiators try to broker a global deal to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees.
Whether a deal is possible or not largely hinges on whether China, who emit 27 per cent of the world’s Co2, is willing to play ball.
Chinese premier Xi Jinping did not attend the conference, however Johnson said the team he sent over was “very high level”.
“The key thing that China is saying is that they want to get to a peak in their carbon emissions by 2030 or before,” Johnson said.
“When you listen to what Xi Jinping says the question is ‘how much before?’ – that’s the issue and that’s what we’re discussing with China. There’s a world of difference between peaking at 2030 or peaking at 2025. That’s where the conversation is, that’s where we’re keeping the pressure up.
“Do we need more progress? You bet we need more progress from China and from everybody here at this gathering.”
Negotiators from individual countries will now stay in Glasgow to try and broker a deal to strengthen the climate change commitments made at the 2015 summit in Paris.
Yesterday, a deal was signed by 100 countries, representing 85 per cent of the world’s forests, committing them to reversing deforestation and land degradation by 2030.
A deal was also signed today by 40 countries who make up 70 per cent of the world’s economy to commit to fostering more investment in green technologies.
Johnson, using a football metaphor, said the deals meant humanity was down 5-3 to climate change after previously trailing 5-1 at the start of the conference.
“I think we’re going to be able to take this thing to extra time, because there’s no doubt that some progress has been made,” he said.
However, he warned: “Commitments will be 100 per cent useless if the promises made here are not followed up with real action.”
Johnson also called on developed countries to pledge more in climate financing to help developing countries transition to renewables.
The target, agreed at a previous Cop summit, is for the world’s richest countries to donate $100bn a year to the cause.
“The reality is that the developed world will still be late in hitting the $100bn target and it’s brilliant so many countries have embraced net-zero this week, but we’re going to keep working with all the leaders around the world to get them there sooner, to accelerate the timetable,” he said.