UK's Johnson says COP26 success hangs in the balance

by Reuters
Monday, 25 October 2021 11:08 GMT

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday it was "touch and go" whether the upcoming United Nations COP26 global climate conference will secure the agreements needed to help tackle climate change.

Britain hopes the summit in Glasgow, which begins on Oct. 31, will adopt plans to help limit the rise in the average global temperature to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"It is going to be very, very tough this summit. I am very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need and it is touch and go, it is very, very difficult, but I think it can be done," Johnson said during a news conference with children.

Johnson, as host of the summit, has cast the meeting as one of the last major chances to slow rising temperatures, and had hoped it would showcase his attempt at global leadership.

Hopes of a major breakthrough deal at the summit were dealt a blow last week when the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin would not fly to Scotland for the talks. There is also uncertainty over whether China's Xi Jinping will attend.

"It's very very far from clear that we'll get the progress that we need," Johnson said.

(Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Paul Sandle)