UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of imminent “climate catastrophe,” while environmental activist Greta Thunberg described the COP26 climate summit agreement as “blah, blah, blah.”
Even those who praised the Glasgow agreement recognised there was still a lot of work to be done.
In a statement released after the agreement was struck on Saturday evening at the Glasgow meeting, Guterres acknowledged the pact’s flaws.
“The #COP26 conclusion is a compromise, reflecting the world’s current interests, contradictions, and political will,” he tweeted.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough.”
“Our delicate world is hanging by a thread,” he warned, adding that “climate disaster is still knocking on our door.”
“Young people, indigenous communities, women leaders, all those leading on #ClimateAction,” the UN head said in a follow-up tweet.
“I understand if you’re disappointed. But we’re in the fight of our lives, and we have to win it.”
Thunberg, possibly the most well-known environmental activist in the world, was blunter in her opinion.
She tweeted, “The #COP26 is over.” “Here’s a quick rundown: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah paragraph bla
“However, the real job takes place outside these walls. And we will never, ever give up.”
“Outside these halls, though, the real job continues. And we will never, ever give up.”
Activists like Thunberg and others have criticised the way the meeting was going, claiming that world leaders had failed to back up their words with action.
We have a lot of work ahead of us
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, remained cheerful.
“There’s a lot more work to be done in the future years,” Johnson added.
“However, today’s accord is a significant step forward, and we now have the first-ever worldwide agreement to phase out coal, as well as a roadmap to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees.”
According to a statement from the European Commission, the accord preserved the 2015 Paris climate pact’s goals, “offering us a chance to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
Delegates to the meeting, according to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, made headway on agreements to reduce hazardous emissions and raise $100 billion per year to support developing and vulnerable countries.
“However, there will be no time to relax: there is still a lot of work to be done,” she added.
China and India insisted on weakening language on fossil fuels in the final summit decision text during the final talks. The Australian government has recently stated that it will continue to sell coal for decades.
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s former prime minister and current president of the Asia Society, was optimistic.
“While the official language stopped short of agreeing to phase out coal, world leaders’ words in Glasgow leave no question that coal is on its road out.”
The long, drawn-out discussions had taken their toll on Britain’s COP26 president, Alok Sharma.
“I regret for how this process has transpired,” Sharma said after the final agreement was reached. Before slamming his gavel down, he continued, “I am terribly sorry.”
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