By Matt McGrath
COP26 President Alok Sharma has warned that progress made during the summit is at risk of “withering on the vine”.
Mr Sharma said that the agreements reached at the Glasgow climate meeting had been a “fragile win” for the world.
But unless the commitments made are turned into action this year, the chances of keeping global temperatures in check will be lost.
Quoting from the popular film, Don’t Look Up, he said this was no time to “sit tight and assess”.
The UN’s COP26 climate summit in November ended with a deal being struck in a bid to stave off severe climate change. This pact was the first ever UN climate deal to explicitly plan to reduce coal – the worst fossil fuel for greenhouse gases.
But the pledges didn’t go far enough to limit temperature rise to 1.5C, seen by scientists as the threshold for dangerous impacts from global warming.
Twelve weeks to the day after the start of COP26 (so named because it was the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties), Alok Sharma delivered his first major speech since the gathering, at a Chatham House event in Central London.
Mr Sharma is essentially in charge of the negotiations process until the next major conference, COP27, in Egypt in November.
He highlighted the fact that, despite the pandemic, and frayed international relations, countries had worked together at COP26 to deliver the Glasgow Climate Pact.
That agreement, he said, was a significant achievement.
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