London gathers representatives of 51 countries in preparation for the COP26 climate summit


date of publication:
25 Jul 2021 1:45 GMT

Update date: 25 Jul 2021 4:05 GMT

Britain will host climate and environment ministers from 51 countries on Sunday for “crucial” climate talks ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November in Glasgow.

British Minister Alok Sharma is chairing the two-day meeting, which London said would address “key issues that require solutions” at the summit.

The British government said in a statement that Sharma, chair of the COP26 summit, hopes to “build common ground and outline the Glasgow outcomes”.

The environment and climate ministers of the United States, India and China will be among the participants in the closed-door meeting.

This is the first in-person ministerial meeting in more than 18 months, but it will also include video participation, with the aim of bringing as many participants as possible.

“We are facing difficult times for our planet and the only way we will protect its future is for countries to follow the same path,” Sharma said.

“The world will be watching to see if we meet in Glasgow and do what is necessary to turn things around in this crucial decade.”

“It is imperative that we roll up our sleeves, find common ground, and collectively conclude how we will build a greener and brighter future for our children and future generations,” he added.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement stipulated the need to limit warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial level, while seeking to limit it to only 1.5 degrees. However, the current course of affairs does not allow this to be achieved, according to scholars.

The United Kingdom seeks this informal meeting, which takes place behind closed doors, as an opportunity to encourage “candid conversations”, so that the various parties can find solutions to move forward with the Summit.

“Ministers should not be afraid to highlight points of disagreement, while at the same time maintaining a spirit of cooperation,” Sharma said, hoping that the meeting would allow “concrete solutions to be discussed” and “a unified vision”.

“As ministers responsible for combating climate warming, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. The next two days will be decisive.”

During this meeting, countries that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, such as China and the United States, will hold discussions with countries most vulnerable to climate warming such as Jamaica, Costa Rica, Rwanda and the Marshall Islands.


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