• Mr Sharma expected to say that while Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has put unprecedented pressure on global energy security, the fundamental challenge of climate change must remain a top priority of governments around the world

  • The event follows last week’s productive May Ministerial on Implementation, hosted by the Danish Government in Copenhagen and co-chaired by the UK and Egypt, as COP27 President-designate

COP President Alok Sharma will today (16 May 2022) return to Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus to mark six months since the conclusion of COP26 to warn world leaders that failure to honour commitments made at COP26 would be an ‘act of monstrous self-harm’.

Mr Sharma will set out his vision for the second half of the UK’s COP Presidency, as he is joined by representatives from business, civil society and young people in Scotland, alongside a virtual global audience.

Mr Sharma will outline the crucial importance of addressing the chronic climate crisis alongside more immediate concerns.

He will say that the world is facing serious crises. Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine has shifted geopolitics. As governments are responding to rising prices, food and energy security challenges and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Mr Sharma is also expected to say that ‘the current crises should increase, not diminish, our determination to deliver on what we agreed here at COP26, and honour the Glasgow Climate Pact.’ He is expected to urge world leaders to show that ‘though the world has changed our resolve has not’

The COP26 President is expected to stress the urgency of countries fulfilling promises made at COP26 and that the global community must move much faster in taking climate action over the next six months, than over the last. ‘Work to deliver on the commitments made here in Glasgow has quietly continued.’ he is expected to say, yet “we need every nation to pick up the pace”.

Mr Sharma will also outline the increasingly stark scientific warnings of the impacts of climate change as recently set out in two major reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This evidence, Mr Sharma is expected to say, ‘demonstrates unequivocally that the window of time we have to act is closing fast, that we must urgently adapt and reduce emissions, because current targets are not enough.’

Mr Sharma will also highlight the devastation caused by extreme weather conditions around the world, including ongoing heatwaves in India and Pakistan, where a billion people have been exposed to extreme heat of almost 50C.

While welcoming progress made in the six months since COP26, Mr Sharma will look ahead to priorities in the lead up to COP27 and the UK’s work with Egypt to drive delivery ahead of the Summit in Sharm-El-Sheikh later this year.

Underscoring this urgent priority, Mr Sharma is expected to say: ‘Every country must respond to the call to revisit and strengthen their nationally determined contribution (NDC). And they must do so in 2022. The Glasgow Pact calls on countries to look again at their NDCs, not at some vague point in the future, but this year, in 2022.’

The speech closely follows last week’s May Ministerial Meeting on Implementation, co-chaired by the UK and Egypt COP Presidencies.

The Ministerial, held in Copenhagen on May 12 and 13, saw over 40 countries renew their urgent focus on implementation and practical action to deliver commitments and pledges made at COP26 and within the Glasgow Climate Pact.

At the meeting countries agreed that, despite the challenging global context, climate ambition and commitments remain serious and credible, from adapting to climate impacts, averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage, to reducing emissions and keeping 1.5C alive and mobilising finance.

Today, May 16, also sees the publication of the COP26 Sustainability Report, which demonstrates the lasting, positive legacy of COP26 on the city of Glasgow and beyond.

The report sets out the conference’s impact on Scottish charities and low-income families, including donations of 6,000 items of furniture, 15,000 square metres of carpets, and 600 laptops, some of which it is hoped will soon go to Ukrainian refugees.

It also confirms the UK’s achievement in implementing the International Standard for Event Sustainability Management making it the first COP summit to meet the international standard for carbon neutrality, PAS 2060.

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    COP President Alok Sharma marks six months since landmark COP26 conference with Glasgow speech

    by Editor time to read: 3 min