COP26 President Alok Sharma declared at his opening that the summit is the “last and best hope” for limiting warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
On the first day of the two-week conference considered crucial to the future of humanity, Sharma added that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “climate change has continued.”
Sharma said the effects of climate change were starting to appear all over the world in the form of “floods, cyclones, wildfires and record temperatures”.
“We know that our planet is changing for the worse,” he said at the opening of the conference, noting that climate change persisted during the Covid-19 epidemic, which caused the meeting to be postponed for a year.
“If we act now and work together, we can protect our precious planet,” he said.
Experts say that taking concrete steps in the next 10 years will be the only solution to help reduce the devastating effects.
The COP takes its goal from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw countries agree to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, and 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.
At the inauguration of COP26 in Glasgow, UN Climate Coordinator Patricia Espinosa said countries should change the way they operate or accept the idea that “we are investing in our own extinction”.
Representatives of more than 190 countries are participating to participate in the summit organized by the United Nations, called “COP 26”, and it comes amid unprecedented challenges to climate change that emerged in the natural disasters that afflicted several regions around the world earlier in 2021.