Climate change: ‘Impossible’ to limit rise in temperatures if COP26 summit fails – as MPs say UK has set out ‘little detail’ on goals

The UK government has set out "little detail" on what it wants to achieve during COP26, amid concerns that it may be "impossible" to limit the rise in Earth’s temperature if the climate summit fails.

That is the warning from the Foreign Affairs Committee in its report, A Climate For Ambition: Diplomatic Preparations For COP26.

The report described the summit, to be held in Glasgow in November, as the most significant UN climate summit since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was negotiated.

Glasgow is expected to see the largest gathering of heads of state the UK has ever seen, alongside climate experts and campaigners, all calling for a new plan to tackle global warming.

The report welcomed the government’s objectives for its presidency of the conference, but added: "Beyond this announcement there has been little detail on what the UK government wants to achieve.

"Setting ambitious expectations will be crucial to securing the success of the conference and the government will need to do more than just set out broad ambitions."

The committee also reiterated an earlier warning that it may become "impossible" to limit the average rise in Earth’s temperatures to below 2C, let alone 1.5C, if COP26 fails.

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The report said: "COP26 will be a key moment for global climate action.

"We have been encouraged by the number of countries that have expressed the importance of the climate agenda in international fora; COP26 must now translate these words into actions.

"The UK presidency will need to mobilise public engagement so that as countries come forward with ambitious climate targets, those promises are backed by people around the world.

"COP26 will not be considered a success unless the UK presidency sets the world on a path to net zero, secures an ambitious green finance package, and helps to build resilience to the impacts of climate change."

It comes after US climate envoy and former secretary of state John Kerry warned that "catastrophic" global warning is an "extremely urgent" problem.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "The word urgent is totally applicable to the current crisis that we are in because countries are simply not getting the job done.

"Even if we did everything that we set out to do in the Paris Agreement, the Earth’s temperature is going to increase a very significant amount, perhaps as much as 3.7C or more."

Meanwhile, the US and China have agreed to co-operate on the climate crisis following two days of talks in Shanghai.

Sky News broadcasts the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

Hosted by Anna Jones, The Daily Climate Show is following Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

The show will also highlight solutions to the crisis and show how small changes can make a big difference.

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