Boris Johnson has issued a stark warning that failure at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow will mean the whole effort to curb emissions will have foundered.
n the eve of the gathering in Scotland, the British prime minister said the goal of the Paris agreement six years ago of keeping global warming down to 1.5C depended on developed nations contributing more.
At the end of the G20 summit in Rome, he said they had made some progress but that the outcome of the talks in Glasgow intended to deliver on those commitments remained “in the balance”.
He said: “If Glasgow fails, than the whole thing fails.
“The Paris agreement will have crumbled at the first reckoning.
“The world’s only viable mechanism for dealing with climate change will be holed beneath the waterline.
“Right now the Paris Agreement and the hope that came with it is just a piece of paper.”
Mr Johnson said that they had “inched forward” in the Italian capital but it was “nip and tuck, touch and go” whether they would make further progress over the next two weeks in Scotland.
In particular he highlighted the failure of the final G20 communique to make any mention of phasing out domestic coal consumption.
“That is the really important question,” he said.
He added: “We have had a reasonable G20 but there is a huge amount to do.”