Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow on on Monday (November 1), welcomed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
World leaders began arriving on Monday at the climate conference critical to averting the most disastrous effects of climate change, their challenge made even more daunting by the failure of major industrial nations to agree ambitious new commitments.
The COP26 conference in the Scottish city of Glasgow opens a day after the G20 economies failed to commit to a 2050 target to halt net carbon emissions – a deadline widely cited as necessary to prevent the most extreme global warming.
Instead, their talks in Rome only recognised “the key relevance” of halting net emissions “by or around mid-century,” set no timetable for phasing out coal at home and watered down promises to cut emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Many of those leaders take to the stage in Glasgow on Monday to defend their records and in some cases make new pledges at the start of two weeks of negotiations that conference host Britain is billing as make-or-break.
India is the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, and Modi’s participation in the COP26 summit, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, was seen as critical amid uncertainty over whether Chinese President Xi Jinping would attend.
Both India and China, which have not yet made stronger pledges to cut emissions, known as nationally determined contributions or NDCs, face pressure to do so at the conference.
(Production: Lucy Marks)