UK PM admits to slim chance of securing climate pledges before COP26

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson boards RAF Voyager at Stansted Airport, England, on 19 September, ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington. (Keystone/Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

The UK Prime Minister said that getting countries to commit to a $100bn plan before key climate talks start in November will be tough, Sky News reported on Monday. 

Speaking to reporters on his way to New York for the UN General Assembly, Boris Johnson said that there was a 40 per cent chance of failing to convince governments to sign up for a plan to deliver $100bn a year for climate vulnerable countries.

The promise was made by rich countries 12 years ago, but it remains largely unfulfilled up until now. The leading economies missed the mark by $20bn in 2019, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development revealed last week.

Johnson has asked Germany and Canada to spearhead efforts to draw up the plan.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of countries particularly exposed to the impacts of rising temperatures, called early September for such a delivery plan to come out of the climate summit to be held in Glasgow in early November.

Ambassador for the CVF and former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed told reporters in Geneva last Thursday without much optimism that he hadn’t heard back from wealthy countries regarding this and other demands the group had made regarding COP26.

Read more: Climate-vulnerable countries demand concrete results from COP26

Boris Johnson will be hosting on Monday a closed meeting in New York along with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and a dozen country leaders to discuss possible outcomes for COP26, according to Reuters. He will also be travelling to Washington to meet bilaterally with US president Joe Biden.

However, chances of having a successful summit are still uncertain as China hasn’t even confirmed if President Xi Jinping will be attending, COP26 president Alok Shorma said.