- Pledges put forward at Cop26 would limit global temperature rises to below 2C, the first time the world has been on such a trajectory, according to research from the University of Melbourne has found.
- More than 20 countries and financial institutions have vowed to halt all financing for fossil fuel development overseas and divert the estimated $8bn a year to green energy.
- The heatwaves and wildfires that caused devastation in Europe this summer would not have happened without global heating, new analysis shows.
- The staggering take-up of solar power in India has enabled the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to announce a more ambitious climate plan at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow, according to the country’s foreign secretary.
- Rishi Sunak announced that London will become the world’s “first net-zero finance centre” – but environmentalists reacted with scepticism
We are wrapping up the blog for today but join us again tomorrow morning for Day four of Cop26, which will be focusing on energy.
at 2.33pm EDT
Scottish activists have occupied a building in the city centre in order to provide safe and secure accommodation to protesters who have been forced to sleep rough or make do with unsuitable arrangements because of the chronic shortage of affordable lodgings at Cop26.
One of the organisers explained that a number of Indigenous elders had approached local activists requesting blankets so that they might sleep rough. “It’s horrific that these people have come to make their voices heard, and we have all this money for the helicopters flying above our heads but these elders don’t have anywhere warm and dignified to sleep.”
The lack of affordable accommodation has been well-documented – at previous summits, local government worked with activists to provide hostel-style accommodation for those who could not afford expensive hotel rooms, converting gym halls and community centres into bunkhouses. While recognising that Covid-19 restrictions add an extra layer of difficulty this year, activists have been highly critical of the lack of practical action from Glasgow city council
The activists hope to keep the building open for visitors until the end of the conference, but note there is no legal protection for squatting under Scots law.
A longer version of the website will be on the website soon.
at 2.03pm EDT
My colleague Libby Brooks has been catching up with activists around Cop26 and found anger and hope on the streets of Glasgow.
Ed Miliband, the shadow Cop26 president, has said that capitalism does not need to be overthrown as a prerequisite for action on the climate crisis. Speaking to the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast for tomorrow’s episode on finance, he said the emphasis must be on greening capitalism, not replacing it with another system.
“I think fundamentally changing the way capitalism works is the prerequisite [for action on the climate]. And given the urgency, we’ve got to get on with this. Some people who listen to this podcast want to overthrow capitalism. That’s not me,” he said. “We’ve got nine years to turn this round.”
The former Labour leader said the world needed to deal with the “carbon bubble” in the financial system, incubating a financial crisis if companies did not change.
“At some point, investors and shareholders will realise we’re gonna have to act … We could see it actually collapse in all of these investments that we’ve invested in.”
The interview will be available on the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast, which is producing an episode every day for Cop26.
at 12.57pm EDT
Here is the full story as promised earlier, revealing how 20 countries – including UK and US – are ending financing of fossil fuels overseas.
In a significant move, it has emerged that more than 20 countries and financial institutions will halt all financing for fossil fuel development overseas and divert the spending to green energy instead from next year.
The countries affected include the US, UK, Denmark and some developing countries, including Costa Rica. The European Investment Bank is one of the financial institutions involved.
Diverting their funding from fossil fuels to low-carbon efforts will generate an estimated $8bn a year around the world for clean energy. The agreement will prevent the funding of any fossil fuel development, including gas, though there are provisions for loopholes.
My colleagues Fiona Harvey and Patrick Greenfield will have the full story shortly.
at 12.19pm EDT
Labour’s Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, has sounded a loud note of caution over claims promises made at Cop26 are on course to see temperature increase by less than 2C.
at 12.20pm EDT
Climate activist Greta Thunberg has made her own pledge at Cop26 today. After being filmed chanting “you can shove your climate crisis up your arse” with fellow protesters in Glasgow, she tweeted:
Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist [and wit], replied
at 12.21pm EDT
Cop26 “a failure” unless finance flows to frontline communities – campaigners
Climate Action Network (CAN), a global network of 1,500 or so environmental civil society organisations in more than 130 countries, used their first press conference to call out the lack of concrete details and ambition so far on crucial issues like reducing emissions, climate finance and loss and damage.
“We’ve heard a flurry of announcements so far, but most belong in the category of lip service … leaders making statements for headlines, but we all need to get into the details as that’s where the devils are,” said Harjeet Singh, senior adviser at CAN, who talked about the millions of people who have already lost their homes, land and livelihoods because of the climate breakdown causing rising sea levels, and increasingly intense droughts and floods.
“We will judge Cop26 on how much rich countries stand in solidarity with vulnerable people … If there is no stream of finance agreed for people now, we will call this Cop a failure.”
The UK government’s claims that this would be the most inclusive Cop in history, has come back to bite them as it seems increasingly clear that the opposite is true.
For instance, environmental NGOs are allowed only four delegates into the negotiations area, even though there are six meeting rooms. “We call on the UNFCCC and presidency [UK government] to take immediate action so that the voices of those communities and indigenous peoples most impacted by climate change and climate action can be heard in the negotiating rooms,” said Sebastian Duyck from the Centre for International Environmental Law.”
CAN will hold a press conference every day for the rest of Cop, to offer their views on the substance and equity – or lack of – of what’s pledged and announced by states and governments. Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO of Oxfam GB, summed it up like this: “Climate action without climate justice is technically and morally bankrupt.”
Sharma press conference has finished now.
Earlier, the Green MP, Caroline Lucas, pointed out the “utter hypocrisy” of Boris Johnson’s dire climate warnings and calls for immediate action at Cop26 at the same time as the UK presses ahead with a new oil field in the North Atlantic.
at 11.40am EDT
This could be potentially interesting following the deal that South Africa struck with the UK, EU, and US for a new $8.5bn Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa to help reduce the country’s reliance on coal.
On the issue of problems of access to the conference venue there is real anger building from campaigners with some delegates reporting that they have received messages saying the venue is full and to “phone in” to meetings from their hotel rooms.
Dorothy Guerrero, a spokesperson for the COP Coalition campaign group, said: “This climate summit isn’t just the least accessible ever and a chaotic shambles, it’s grossly unjust. When so many people from the world’s most impacted countries weren’t able to make it, and delegates [who did mange to get here] are being told to ‘dial in’ from their hotel rooms – something is seriously wrong.”
She said people had paid thousands of pounds to get to Glasgow, often out of their own pocket, “yet they are met with mammoth queues and told to stay away.”
“This summit should have been about serious action on the climate emergency, yet once again the UK has designed a summit that quite literally excludes people from having their voices heard.”
at 11.41am EDT
Sharma now taking questions.
Asked about problems of accessibility and capacity that have dogged the first few days of the conference, he says this is a unique Cop that has had to cope with Covid, but adds he regrets logistical issues and says they are working to fix those.
He adds the first two days, in which world leaders flew in from around the globe experienced particular pressure but hopes that will ease in the coming days.
at 10.16am EDT
Cop26 president Alok Sharma gives progress update
Sharma is speaking now. He says Cop26 has got off to a good start.
He says Paris promised and Glasgow must deliver, repeating the mantra that the world must keep 1.5C of warming within reach.
He pays tribute to deals on forests and methane and says vulnerable countries are at the forefront of his mind.
He says he deeply regrets that the deadline for the $100bn of finance to developing countries has not been met, but says richer nations are getting closer and closer to delivering on that promise.
He adds he is “cautiously optimistic” as attention turns to the detailed negotiations with “the can-do attitude” apparently shown by leaders being carried through by the negotiators.
at 10.51am EDT
Alok Sharma, the president of Cop26 is about to speak, but while we are waiting for that to start it appears that Rishi Sunak’s plan was to come to Glasgow, make his climate finance announcement and get out again with as little scrutiny as possible.
However, young activists from campaign group GND Rising had other ideas and at least managed to ask him one question: why is the UK government still giving tax breaks to fossil fuel companies?
According to one of those present, the campaigners were then chucked out with officials saying the chancellor wouldn’t start his speech until they had been removed.
at 12.17pm EDT