Leaders pledge 'climate resilient future' as they gather for COP26

Leaders pledge 'climate resilient future' as they gather for COP26
Leaders of the United Nations Climate Change Conference pledged on Sunday to build a "climate resilient future for all" as delegates arrived for the two-week conference. File Photo by Koen Van Weel/EPA-EFE

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Delegates from about 200 countries have gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, to take part in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, on Sunday.

The leaders are set to make a commitment to cut emissions by 2030 citing the impact of global warming as a result of fossil fuel emissions, with most arriving Sunday evening.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the summit as the "world's moment of truth" ahead of the two-week conference.

"The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away," he said.

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The COP26 presidency released an outline of its climate action on Sunday morning pledging to close the adaptation gap and respond to impacts and build a climate resilient future for all.

"Human activity is changing the global climate," they wrote. "The impacts associated with this temperature change are severe and growing. Around the world, people are experiencing heat waves, wildfires, rising sea levels, fiercer and more frequent storms, unpredictable rainfall bringing floods and droughts, acidification of our oceans and desertification of our land."

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to be in attendance as Congress continues to struggle to reach an agreement on his "Build Back Better" spending proposal, which includes major provisions for climate policies.

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Several leaders traveled from the G20 summit in Rome that ended Sunday.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was a last-minute scratch from the limate event at the advice of her doctors after a recent hospitalization.

The conference was beset by travel issues as attendees making their way to Scotland from London were warned not to travel after a fallen tree blocked train lines.

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London Euston Station said that a tree had damaged some of the 25,000-volt electric lines that power trains on the West Coast main line after "very wet" weather overnight.

Avanti West Coast, which provides service from London to Glasgow, advised passengers to avoid travel "due to the extent of the disruption for services."

"Following today's disruption, we are currently able to run a very limited service to all routes for the remainder of the day," Avanti West Coast said. "Please not services will be extremely busy as well as subject to delays and cancellation. Where possible, we advise delaying journeys until tomorrow."

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