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Leaders must act at COP26 to prevent climate disaster


Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pictured on September 23, 2021.

Getty Images World leaders need to “walk the talk” at this year’s COP26 summit, Glasgow in November. This is what Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, said Thursday.| Getty Images

World leaders must “walk the walk” at the COP26 summit in Glasgow this November to avert a climate catastrophe, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told CNBC Thursday.

Khan told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe that delay and inaction would lead to a catastrophe for the environment and urged delegates at the summit to act now. 

He stated that unless there are bold actions nationally and internationally, I am concerned about the devastating consequences. This concern is not limited to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It could also impact cities such as New York and London. “This summer, we have experienced flash flooding and heatwaves.

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone was established during Khan’s term as mayor. It charges cars that exceed certain emission standards. The ULEZ will be expanding its coverage to cover more routes outside of the city’s center. He has also introduced the £22 million ($30 million) Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, which aims to support projects to improve air quality in the city.

Khan explained to CNBC that the federal government was necessary for regional and municipal leaders to be able take action against climate change.

“COP26 has got to walk the walk,” Khan said, and, referring to the signing of the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015: “In Paris, the world set out what needed to be done — now we need to set out how.”

He said that he felt optimistic that Boris Johnson would become the Prime Minister of Britain and take responsibility for the topic ahead of COP26, which takes place in November.

Khan said that he was optimistic about the prime minister’s visit to the United Nations, where he will take a leading role for the next 40 days. Khan said that COP26 hosts must demonstrate moral leadership and genuine leadership. That means making sure we can together provide the $100 billion required every year [to mitigate the effects of climate change], and also showing the world how we’re going to walk the walk.”

He said, “We have a goal in this country of reducing our carbon emissions to 68% by 2030.” “Over the next few days, we have to show how we are going to do it, which will hopefully encourage other countries to take the same steps.”

‘Turning point for humanity’

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Johnson dubbed the impending COP26 summit “the turning point for humanity.”

He stated that the world was not an indestructible toys, but rather a room of bouncy plastic rompers against which one can have as much fun as they like. “Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage … In just 40 days’ time we need the world to come to Glasgow to make the commitments necessary.”

Johnson called on world leaders and other global leaders to make commitments to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.

“But if we are to stave off these hikes in temperature we must go further and faster — we need all countries to step up and commit to very substantial reductions by 2030,” Johnson said. I believe that we can achieve it by making four commitments: cars, coal, cash, and trees.

After giving his speech, Greenpeace criticised the prime minister.

The Prime Minister is right to state that we are at a turning moment. Truth is, as true as these words are to world leaders, they ring hollow against Johnson’s inability to take decisive action at home to reduce carbon emissions,” Kate Blagojevic (head of climate at Greenpeace U.K.) said in a statement.

The government has a lot of actions that it can take, including ending the hunt for oil and providing financial support to the people to reduce carbon emissions. They’re failing badly right now.

According to the Climate Change Act of Britain, the country has a target to lower its carbon emissions by 100% in 2050 compared with 1990 levels.

A key part of this strategy was the introduction of carbon budgeting, which places limits on the country’s emission for five year periods. In April, the government announced that its sixth Carbon Budget — covering 2033 to 2037 — would “set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law,” aiming to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.