Boris Johnson tells UN that Cop26 must be ‘turning point for humanity’

Cop26 must be a «turning point for humanity» in just 40 days’ time, Boris Johnson has urged in a call to arms to fellow global leaders ahead of the climate summit in Glasgow. Addressing the UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday evening, Johnson warned it was time for humanity to «grow up». He compared humanity to an impetuous 16-year-old «just old enough to get ourselves into serious trouble». «We are awesome in our power to change things and awesome in our power to save ourselves, and in the next 40 days we must choose what kind of awesome we are going to be».
The prime minister has been buoyed up by progress on climate during the three-day trip, including President Joe Biden’s commitment to double climate financing to $11.2bn – and China’s promise to halt the funding of coal-fired power stations overseas. With just weeks to go until the summit, the UK is urging more countries to come forward with climate financing, to help meet the $100bn target set more than a decade ago. Cop26 chair Alok Sharma has also been in New York holding bilateral meetings with a string of countries, urging them to come forward both with cash, and more ambitious climate reduction targets, in the next few weeks. Biden has confirmed that he will attend the summit in person – but it is unclear whether president Xi Jinping will do so.
Johnson said it was critical that the outcome of Cop26 kept within reach the target of restraining global heating to within 1.5 degrees. At the start of his visit to the US, Johnson conceded that he had changed his mind on the climate crisis in recent years, because «the facts change and people change their minds».

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