Boris Johnson: "Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change"
From CNN's Angela Dewan and Eliza Mackintosh in London
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose government is hosting the COP26 talks, warned Monday that humanity has run down the clock on climate change.
“Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now," Johnson told delegates, speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Leaders Summit.
“If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow,” Johnson said.
“We have to move from talk and debate and discussion to concerted, real-world action on coal, cars, cash and trees."
9:11 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
British PM Boris Johnson channels Greta Thunberg's "blah, blah, blah" remarks in speech
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson channeled teen climate activist Greta Thunberg in his address at the COP26, saying if the world leaders don't get serious about their actions against climate change, then the promises to achieve net zero emissions will be "nothing but blah, blah, blah, to coin a phrase."
"The anger and the impatience of the world will be uncontainable unless we make this COP26 in Glasgow the moment when we get real about climate change. And we can. We can get real on coal, cars cash and trees," he added.
Thunberg made a speech at the recent Youth for Climate conference in which she mocked Johnson, as well as US President Joe Biden and French leader Emmanuel Macron, suggesting their climate talk amounted to "blah, blah, blah."
8:33 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
COP26 opening ceremony about to begin
From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh
The lights have been dimmed in the plenary hall and the Opening Ceremony, hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, welcoming delegates to the World Leaders Summit of COP26 is about to get underway.
8:28 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
Chaotic scenes at entrance to room where Boris Johnson is about to open the Leaders' Summit
From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh in London
World leaders and politicians are currently milling around the plenary hall, greeting each other ahead of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech welcoming them to COP26.
CNN's Ivana Kottasová is at the world leaders summit, where she captured chaotic scenes as delegates struggled to get through the entrance.
8:12 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
Boris Johnson expected to announce an additional £1 billion in aid for climate finance by 2025
From CNN’s Angela Dewan in London and Sugam Pokharel in Atlanta
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the United Kingdom will commit an additional £1 billion – or $1.368 billion USD – in aid for climate finance by 2025, if Britain's economy grows as forecast.
The Prime Minister is expected to tell leaders meeting at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow on Monday that the world must move from aspiration to action to limit rising global temperatures, according to a government statement released late Sunday forecasting his remarks.
“It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now,” Johnson is expected to say in his Monday address at the World Leaders Summit Opening Ceremony.
He will urge world leaders to take concrete steps on phasing out coal, accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, and halting deforestation, as well as supporting developing nations on the frontline of the climate crisis with climate finance, the statement said.
The actions will make the biggest difference in reducing emissions this decade on the world’s path to net zero and keeping alive the global aim of limiting rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius under the Paris Agreement, according to the statement.
“If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow,” Johnson is expected to say.
8:20 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
Putin will not address COP26 live via videoconference, but has recorded a message
From CNN's Anna Chernova in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be speaking live via video link at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, but has recorded a video message for participants of one of the conferences, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
“Unfortunately, Putin will not be speaking at the climate conference because Glasgow does not offer the possibility of participating by videoconference,” Peskov told journalists during a conference call. “However, within the framework of the Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, there will be a conference on forestry and land use. The President has already recorded a video message to the participants of this conference,” Peskov said.
Putin expressed Russia’s position on climate change issues at the G20 summit, Peskov added.
“In many respects, the themes of Glasgow and the climate issue at the G20 overlapped,” Peskov said. “Therefore, speaking at the G20, President [Putin] already… outlined the approaches of the Russian side [on climate change] in sufficient detail.”
On Sunday, President Biden expressed "disappointment" that Russia, as well as China, didn’t show up with climate pledges and the countries’ leaders did not attend the G20 summit in person.
7:51 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
John Kerry and his team downplay expectations for COP26, as Congress mulls Biden's agenda
From CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Ella Nilsen
US Climate Envoy John Kerry and his team were hoping things would look very different heading into the world's premier climate summit this week, but officials have begun downplaying expectations as clouds gather over the upcoming talks.
It's a dreary turn of events for Kerry at the capstone of his long year of work for President Joe Biden, potentially his last big act of service in the spotlight before he returns to private life. Friends and colleagues tell CNN they have long assumed Kerry would leave government service after a year or so.
But that plan was largely based on the hope of a big first-year win for the climate -- while Congress is closer than it has been in months to passing major elements of Biden's climate agenda, which will be the largest investment the US has ever made on the climate crisis, a bill is still not signed.
An impending global energy crisis has thrown markets into a "tailspin," as one Kerry aide put it to CNN, prompting Biden to plead for more crude oil production from oil-producing nations in the Middle East.
And neither Chinese President Xi Jinping nor Russian President Vladimir Putin -- leaders of two of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the world -- will even be attending the summit, known as COP26.
The circumstances have led Biden administration officials to lower expectations for the Glasgow meeting, which they are messaging more as the beginning of a long process than as the culmination of Kerry's efforts over the last eight months.
"Glasgow is an important milestone as we kick off what we're calling the decisive decade of action to tackle the climate crisis," a senior administration official said this week. "And this will be an opportunity for us to lay down the foundation for further action, how we ratchet up our ambition in the upcoming years after Glasgow."
It is also unclear how long Kerry will remain in the job after COP26. It had been widely assumed among Kerry's friends that he would bow out after the summit, according to former Obama adviser John Podesta. A State Department official said that was the sense internally as well.
Read more about Kerry's work in recent months rallying foreign allies and adversaries to make bolder commitments to fight climate change:
Ursula von der Leyen to CNN's Amanpour: China needs to "step up and show what they're going to do"
From CNN’s Cecelia Armstrong and Emmet Lyons
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has told CNN that China needs to demonstrate a clear climate plan if they are to be a global leader.
Speaking to Christiane Amanpour from the COP26 summit in Glasgow, von der Leyen said that it is “very important that they [China] step up and show what they are going to do.”
“If we look at China, I think we should remind them that they have the ambition of global leadership. That should match with global climate leadership,” von der Leyen said.
Neither Chinese President Xi or Russian President Vladimir Putin -- leaders of two of the biggest global greenhouse gas emitters -- are attending the summit.
For the world to achieve its climate goals, Von der Leyen told Amanpour that global leaders must come together:
“We have to get everyone on board. So what physical presence at the G20 and at COP26 is concerned, I highly appreciate for example that Prime Minister Modi from India did come. This is a very important sign that he is engaging. We would have liked to see China and Russia being here.” “Indeed for Russia, if they want to have a future proof economy, they have to rapidly engage in modernizing their economy and modernizing means decarbonizing,” she said. “Our experience in the European Union is that you can prosper while cutting emissions.”
7:45 a.m. ET, November 1, 2021
US wants Glasgow talks to pressure China, even though Xi isn't here
From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Edinburgh
This week’s Glasgow climate summit should act as pressure on countries like China to do more, the White House says.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Beijing “has an obligation to step up to greater ambition as we go forward, and we'll keep pressing on that.”
"They are a big country, with a lot of resources and a lot of capabilities, and they are perfectly well capable of living up to their responsibilities,” Sullivan said later. “It's up to them to do so and nothing about the nature of the relationship between the US and China, structurally or otherwise, impedes or stands in the way of them doing their part.”
Biden said Sunday he was disappointed Chinese President Xi Jinping wasn’t attending either the G20 summit or the Glasgow climate talks. Xi will deliver a written statement at the COP26 conference.
Sullivan said China was a “significant outlier” in a global push to keep temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, as well as a holdout on international efforts to finance climate change resilience in vulnerable areas.
“The US is stepping up to do its part, key US allies — Japan, Korea, the European Union, Canada, others — are stepping up to do their part. And now the question is, Will some of the remaining countries step up to do theirs? That question we don't expect will be fully answered in Glasgow, because we should not look at Glasgow as the end of the road,” Sullivan said.
"Glasgow, from our perspective, is a key moment setting us off on a decisive decade of climate action,” Sullivan said. “And if we can come out of here with the wind at our back with these enormous commitments across financing mitigation adaptation, we believe that pressure will build on the countries that have not yet stepped up and the world will look them to them to do their part. That's what we expect. That's what we're looking for.”