COP26 lead Alok Sharma is expected to urge world leaders today that the upcoming climate conference is not a “photo op” but where “each country must step up”.
Speaking at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris today, Sharma is set to say: “Responsibility rests with each and every country. And we must all play our part. Because on climate, the world will succeed, or fail as one.
“COP26 is not a photo op or a talking shop. It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate. And that is down to leaders. It is leaders who made a promise to the world in this great city six years ago. And it is leaders that must honour it.”
The speech comes six years after the landmark Paris Agreement was reached at another Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2015, which saw countries promise to limit global temperature rises to well below 2C, aiming for 1.5C.
Sharma is also expected to outline his main ambitions for COP26 November – which include setting ‘concrete’ plans to significantly reduce emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by mid-century through slashing coal dependency and promoting electric car usage.
“It will be an extraordinary COP in extraordinary times. But collectively, we must pull together to make it work. Forging unity from the unfamiliar. Because we have no choice but to deliver,” he will say later today.
“Each country must step-up. And as COP26 President I will ensure that every voice is heard. That the smallest nations are sitting face to face with the world’s great powers. As equal parties to the process.”