Boris Johnson has urged countries to “pull out all the stops” to secure action to limit dangerous global warming in the final days of COP26.
The Prime Minister was speaking ahead of returning to the Glasgow summit on Wednesday, where negotiators are set to scrutinise a first draft of a “cover decision” – a negotiated outcome to the talks that aims to boost climate action.
Negotiators are also trying to hammer out agreement on technical parts of the global climate treaty, the Paris Agreement, including common timeframes for national commitments on emissions reductions and agreed ways for countries to report on their progress, to help turn pledges into action.
There are also negotiations on providing finance for developing countries to cope with climate change and address the issue of loss and damage to people, livelihoods, land and infrastructure caused by global warming in poorer nations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Negotiating teams are doing the hard yards in these final days of COP26 to turn promises into action on climate change.
“There’s still much to do. Today I’ll be meeting with ministers and negotiators to hear about where progress has been made and where the gaps must be bridged.
“This is bigger than any one country and it is time for nations to put aside differences and come together for our planet and our people.
“We need to pull out all the stops if we’re going to keep 1.5C within our grasp.”
The draft cover decision is being published into Wednesday morning, with delegations expected to be in contact with their leaders and capitals to discuss what their position on it will be – particularly in those countries whose leaders did not attend the world leaders summit, such as China and Russia.
Countries are positioning themselves for the final days of negotiations, with Nick Mabey from climate think tank E3G suggesting “a high ambition outcome is still on the table” and momentum is with those countries pushing for ambition.
A “High Ambition Coalition” of vulnerable countries and others including the US and Europe countries is calling for nations to submit action plans in line with limiting temperatures to 1.5C in the next year and long term plans to meet the target by 2023, though there is pushback from other countries.
Finance for developing countries is also key to the talks.
Robin Mace-Snaith, lead climate analyst for aid agency CAFOD, said: “We have to get new, additional, and needs-based loss and damage finance and a system to deliver it to vulnerable communities in low-income countries.
“At the same time, there needs to be a place in the UN climate process to formalise these discussions, so countries can be held accountable for their promises.”
“With the PM due to be back on Wednesday at COP, we hope he gets this over the line and delivers the action needed on loss and damage.”
The Prime Minister will be joined by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Glasgow, where he will meet with heads of delegations and other groups.