Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday joined the world leaders in UK’s Glasgow for what is dubbed as “last, best hope” climate summit against the backdrop of growing worries about the fate of the planet earth.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres have been greeting world leaders as they arrive in Glasgow as they met around 120 world leaders with fist bumps as the COP26 summit prepares to get into full swing.
Sheikh Hasina, who arrived in Glasgow on Sunday, attends the event as a key-stakeholder being the chair of 48-nation Climate Vulnerable Forum’s (CVF) with demands seeking richer nations’ recognition to climate vulnerable countries need.
Leaders of developed nations appeared to be under pressure to avoid climate catastrophe as the summit started in force, with Johnson hosting an opening ceremony which is followed by the afternoon session with world leaders’ statements on their own climate plans.
The Bangladesh premier asked the developed countries to submit quickly their long-awaited Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) plans to reduce carbon emissions while more than 120 leaders including US President Joe Biden are to speak over the course of the summit today and Tuesday.
Saima Wazed Hossain accompanies the Bangladesh premier as a thematic ambassador of CVF.
Analysts and international media outlets said leaders of the developed nations’ leaders would set the tone for two weeks of negotiations that can either end with a plan to rapidly decarbonizes the planet.
A CNN TV network analyst say the COP26 could also end with world leaders “watery statements” to delay what the science shows is needed, possibly pushing it off until it’s too late.
“Since the first World Climate Conference in 1979, there have been several international meetings to address global warming and despite numerous climate pledges, significant policy change has been rare while temperatures have continued to rise,” said another report carried by the network.
Climate leaders and experts are described the event as the world’s last best chance to address the climate crisis.
China, the United States and India are world’s three largest carbon emitters drawing extra attentions in the climate summit and face pressure to toughen their commitments on issues like coal and deforestation.
Bangladesh and other most vulnerable including the low-lying island countries are sounding the alarm, saying they are on the frontline and face “terrifying” impacts.
Xie Zhenhua is representing Beijing as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy for climate while he served as China’s chief negotiator during key climate meetings between 2007 and 2018 and is believed to have helped push the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“What China does matters to all of us, as it’s the world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide, responsible for around 28 percent of global emissions,” a BBC commentator said.
On assuming office Biden reversed predecessor Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and vowed to make the fight against climate change a top priority.
“The US is the world’s biggest economy and second biggest emitter, so will play a pivotal role,” the BBC commenter observed.
Being the world’s third-largest carbon emitter India has neither announced its net-zero-year nor has it submitted to the UN an updated climate plan (NDC) with a raised carbon-reduction ambition, as required by the Paris agreement every five years.
“Many will be hoping Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will be ready to make concrete promises in Glasgow,” the BBC commenter said.
US climate envoy John Kerry earlier said the Glasgow summit “is the last best chance the world has to come together in order to do the things we need to do to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.”
At the weekend, Prince Charles said the “Quite literally it is the last chance saloon. We must now translate fine words into still finer actions”.
COP26 President Alok Sharma said on Sunday said the conference was “our last best hope” to reach climate goals.
“We need to hit the ground running to develop the solutions that we need. And that work starts today – and we succeed or fail as one,” he said.
Speaking less than a month before the summit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “I cannot emphasize enough that ‘time is running out’.
At the beginning of the summit today he said “our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink”.
“We’re digging our own graves,” the UN chief said.
The COP26 goal is to keep warming limited to 1.5 degree Celsius , or at worst 2 degree Celsius , by 2100 but the globe is currently on track for 2.7 degree Celsius , which the UN said would result in “climate catastrophe”
The 26th UN Climate Conference or COP26 began today at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow in an effort to unite the world to negate the phenomenon.
Saima Wazed Hossain, Thematic Ambassador of CVF is also accompanying the Prime Minister.
The COP26 came six years after the Paris Agreement was signed by over 190 countries to limit rising global temperatures to well below 2C with a view of reaching 1.5C. According to the UN, global temperatures are currently set to rise to 2.7 degree Celsius .
Scientists have warned that emissions must be halved by 2030 to keep the aims made in Paris within reach.
COP26 is due to be concluded on 12 November.