The COP26 chief said this year’s UN climate summit was “the last and best hope” for a 1.5 degree global warming.
The annual meeting, which runs through November 12, began today in Glasgow.
In his inaugural address, COP26 President Alok Sharma called on nations to work together to prevent the most devastating effects of global warming.
He said it was a difficult request to reach the 1.5 degree target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Sharma said the effects of climate change are already beginning to appear around the world in the form of “floods, hurricanes, wildfires and record highs”.
In 2015, countries agreed to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.
Up to 30,000 government officials, meteorologists and other delegates are expected to arrive in Glasgow from today for talks and discussions during the conference.
Activists will also take to the streets during the debates. Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in the Scottish city to take part in a climate protest.
A delegate attending the COP26 Summit in Glasgow today.
The role of Ireland
Tavosech will attend the World Leaders’ Summit tomorrow and Tuesday.
Michael Martin will attend the Round Table of World Leaders for Action and Solidarity hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tomorrow.
Martin will present the Irish National Manifesto at the summit on Tuesday afternoon. World leaders are issuing statements to determine how their countries can contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Taoiseach said he expects COP26 to have a “real global function”.
“Climate change is already a reality around the world. If we are to leave a habitable planet for future generations, we must act now, ”Martin said in a statement.
The challenge is great, but I believe in the ability of human beings to work together to overcome it. Science is the guide. Leaders need to set the right policies, as we do in Ireland.
He added that he hoped the summit would see “a real breakthrough in climate finance and support for the most vulnerable countries.”
Since 2009, developed countries have pledged $ 100 billion a year to the Climate Fund to help developing countries. This is not yet a reality and is one of the main topics discussed in COP26.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that temperatures have already risen by 1.1 degrees.
At 1.5 degrees Celsius, there will be an increase in heat waves, as well as longer hot seasons and shorter cold seasons. The IPCC report states that a maximum temperature of two degrees can often reach “critical tolerance levels for agriculture and health.”
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Last week, a UN report said that even the latest pledges to reduce carbon emissions could still lead to a “catastrophic” temperature rise of 2.7 degrees.
Countries are invited to increase their climate aspirations and demonstrate how they will pursue their goals at the conference.
Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s head of climate, said countries should either abandon the status quo or accept that they are “investing in our own extinction”.
AFP Supplementary Report
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