Global leaders in 24 hours are expected to have a near-final text on the outcomes of the landmark climate change talks in Glasgow but “big gaps” remain on some “vital issues” between nations, COP26 president Alok Sharma admitted on Tuesday.
“Frankly, on some vital issues there is still too far between us,” said Sharma, echoing what some developing nations’ delegations have been claiming of the G20 and developed world.
“So, these next few days, we are absolutely going to need to see a change in gear,” he said.
Sharma added that while he has “greatly enjoyed” his time in Glasgow, he was sure that all summit delegates “share a desire” to finish on Friday “having agreed an ambitious outcome”.
“And that means us all putting in the work to find solutions fast and together.”
Sharma said that he has instructed ministers to negotiate to “get us to a near-final text tomorrow” (Wednesday).
“This work will complement the presidency and technical tracks,” he said.
The COP26 president on Tuesday afternoon officially resumed the high-level segment of the climate change conference that will see nations’ heads of state and government, who did not speak last week, present their statements on climate change commitments.
Today, those taking the stage included ministers from Iran and Gambia.
Sharma, reflected on the first week of COP26 in his opening remarks.
“Last week leaders from around the world stood on this stage and told us of the urgent need to act on climate and now, together, in the remaining days of this summit we need to put their words into action.
“We have made some good progress in the past week, and parties have come to the table with a ‘can do’ attitude and we have agreed substantive outcomes on a range of issues from gender to agriculture,” an upbeat Sharma said.
“But we still have a lot to do.
“The next days are going to require an enormous effort from all of us but we must deliver as the public will be incensed if the power of the words spoken last week by world leaders is not followed by swift, decisive and conclusive action.”
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