Young people have every right to be angry about the failure of world leaders to deliver on climate, the president of the COP26 talks said this afternoon.
Speaking at a news conference, Alok Sharma responded to a question about the interruption of his speech at a youth conference last night. He said:
“Young people are very worried about the future, and they are very angry. They have every right to
be angry because world leaders collectively over time have failed to deliver”.
Alok Sharma said he would be working hard to make the COP in Glasgow a success – but he said this needed world leaders to play their part.
“They were the ones who made the commitments in Paris. They are the ones who are now being
required to make commitments and transform their own domestic economies, so let’s see what they
come up with.”
Mr Sharma said he had warned leaders to think about young people when they made their decisions:
“I did say to them that when they come to Glasgow and they think of the decisions they are going to make, they must keep at the forefront of their minds the voices of the young people they have heard, both in their own countries but also internationally.
“Before they make any decisions they should reflect on what those young people would think about
those decisions, and that is the spirit with which I want these negotiations carried forward.”
Developed countries have pledged 100 million dollars a year in climate finance to help countries
adapt to climate change. Mr Sharma confirmed donations made this year were unlikely to reach this
target, but said it should be met in 2023.
Asked whether this amount was not “grossly insufficient”, particularly when compared to the
amounts governments spent rescuing their own economies during the pandemic, Mr Sharma said
it was likely that the international community would need to mobilise trillions of dollars to
support the transition of economies around the world.
Mr Sharma said there was a real role for the private sector. The UK, for example, was
planning to quadruple its offshore wind output to 40GW by 2030, he said.
“The reason we have been able to grow this so quickly is that we have introduced various revenue
mechanisms which have allowed the private sector to invest.”
Mr Sharma said that developed countries could share their knowledge on investments from the
private sector with the developing world, and hoped for some announcements on private
investment over the next few days.
Global methane pledge
The US and EU have developed a methane pledge, which will be formally launched at COP26.
Mr Sharma said the UK has already signed up to the commitment, and had reduced its methane emissions by 60%
over 30 years. He said further policies were being put in place.
Mr Sharma closed the news conference by saying this was the decisive decade in dealing with climate change. He said that if there was an “ambition gap” in the level of emissions reductions by the end of the decade, governments might have to revisit their emissions targets
Cop26 in numbers
- 21,238 representatives from governments registered
- 13,834 observers registered
- 3,823 media registered