COP26 President warns Glasgow Climate Pact will remain words on a page unless countries deliver on their promises

From: Cabinet Office
Published: Mon Jan 24 2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma is to deliver a major speech at Chatham House setting out the UK's priorities for its COP Presidency year.

  • Sharma to urge countries to deliver on the commitments made in the historic Glasgow Climate Pact
  • The COP President will say it is in the self-interest of countries to work together on climate change
  • Speech at Chatham House in London will outline priorities for the UK's COP Presidency year

Countries need to work together to deliver on the promises made in Glasgow COP26 President, Alok Sharma, will say today (Monday 24th January).

In his first major speech since COP26, Sharma will reflect on the commitments secured at COP26 and the historic Glasgow Climate Pact signed by almost 200 countries at the summit last year.

He will set out his agenda to turn ambition into action for the rest of the UK's Presidency this year, outlining that whilst the summit has concluded, the world must maintain the urgency and the energy to honour the promises made, as we approach COP27 in Sharm-El Sheikh in November.

Today's speech will outline the UK's priorities to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact during its COP Presidency year:

  1. Ensuring promises on emissions reductions are kept to keep 1.5 degrees alive. That every country honours the commitment in the Glasgow Climate Pact to strengthen their climate change targets to align with the Paris temperature goal as necessary in 2022, as well as for delivering on their net zero commitments and 2030 emissions reduction targets, particularly through policies to end coal power, halt deforestation and transition to clean vehicles
  2. Delivering for climate vulnerable countries by ensuring commitments on adaptation and loss and damage are honoured. Working with donors to make progress towards doubling adaptation finance by 2025 and developing a clear proposal and funding for the Santiago Network by COP27
  3. Get finance flowing. The UK through the COP Presidency will help ensure countries, international financial institutions and private financial institutions deliver on the commitments they have made to meet the $100bn goal. And we will aim to increase public-private partnerships to support climate action, building on the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership. We will support Parties to make progress on the post-2025 climate finance goal
  4. Working together and continuing to be an inclusive Presidency. Pushing for further action across critical sectors and turning promises into clear delivery plans through established forums and international councils. The UK through the COP Presidency will work hand-in-hand with the COP27 President Egypt, COP28 President UAE, our international partners, business, youth and civil society, to deliver our priorities and keep climate at the top of the international agenda

COP President Alok Sharma is expected to say:

At COP26 itself almost 200 countries came together and agreed the historic Glasgow Climate Pact. In doing so they demonstrated that climate can create a space for cooperation amidst a splintered global politics, that the world can work together to improve our common future, to address major global challenges and to seize opportunities.

The Glasgow Climate Pact was a product of international cooperation and a practical demonstration of Global Britain in action.

There is no doubt that the commitments we secured at COP26 were historic. Yet at the moment they are just words on a page. And unless we honour the promises made, to turn the commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact into action, they will wither on the vine. We will have mitigated no risks. Seized no opportunities. We will have fractured the trust built between nations. And 1.5 degrees will slip from our grasp.

So my absolute focus for the UK Presidency year is delivery.

Mr Sharma recently visited both COP27 President Egypt, and COP28 President UAE, to underline the importance of building strong partnerships with the next two hosts for the summit.

This week, he will meet the UNFCCC to discuss the implementation of the measures agreed with Glasgow. He will also address the Major Economies Forum and continue to ramp up pressure on the rich donor nations to support climate vulnerable countries.

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