Sunday December 05, 2021

Thunberg says COP26 unlikely to lead to ‘big changes’

October 17, 2021

STOCKHOLM: Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on Saturday said upcoming climate talks in Glasgow, billed as humanity’s last chance to avoid catastrophic global warming, were unlikely to "lead to big changes".

Thunberg, whose Fridays For Future movement has inspired massive street protests around the world, said activists needed to keep on "pushing" for real change.

"As it is now, this COP will not lead to any big changes, we’re going to have to continue pushing," she told AFP on the sidelines of a climate concert organised in Stockholm.

"My hopes are, of course, that suddenly we will realise that we are facing an existential crisis and act after that," she added.

The COP26 meeting in Scotland, being held from October 31 until November 12, will be the biggest climate conference since landmark talks in Paris in 2015, and is seen as a crucial step in setting worldwide emissions targets to slow global warming.

Thunberg said that international summits like COP26 "have a potential of changing (things) since they gather so many people together.

"So we may need to make sure that we use that opportunity to actually change things," she said.

Thunberg stressed the need to "switch the focus from trying to create loopholes" to "actually saving the planet".

The Glasgow gathering will try to persuade major developing economies to do more to cut their carbon emissions, and get the rich world to cough up billions more to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.--AFP

Former US president Barack Obama has confirmed he will attend the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

He will join current president Joe Biden and more than 120 heads of state at the conference, which gets under way on 31 October.

Obama is expected to meet young climate change activists and highlight their work around the world. COP26 will be the biggest climate change conference since landmark talks in Paris in 2015.

A spokesman for Obama said he would use his trip to Scotland to "lay out the important progress made in the five years since the Paris Agreement took effect".

He will also "urge more robust action going forward by all of us - governments, the private sector, philanthropy and civil society". Confirmation of Mr Obama's visit will be seen as a huge boost for the UN summit, which be held at the Scottish Exhibition Campus from 31 October until 12 November.

Boris Johnson and other leaders of the G7 nations are set to lay out plans to cut emissions causing climate change.