‘Act immediately’ to keep 1.5C goal in reach
COP26 President Alok Sharma on Tuesday asked world leaders to slash their emissions "immediately" to avoid failure at next month's summit and keep the Paris climate goals in play.
Speaking in the French capital less than three weeks before the crunch Glasgow gathering, Sharma said that the keystone 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement would be missed without sweeping emissions reductions by major polluters.
"Success or failure of the COP26 is in their hands," he said.
"Unless we act immediately the 1.5-degree limit will slip out of reach."
Six years on from the Paris accord, nations have failed to align their economies with the 1.5C warming target.
Even the most recent emissions cutting plans -- part of the deal's five-year "ratchet" mechanism -- puts the planet on course to rise a "catastrophic" 2.7C this century, according to the UN.
As well as far more ambitious emissions cuts, host Britain has said it wants the two-week Glasgow summit to commit to help finance developing countries' climate fight, and to finalise the Paris Agreement's "rulebook".
Sharma said that "all eyes" would be on a G20 summit in Rome at the end of October, since those nations account for roughly 80 percent of global emissions. He added that 120 "world leaders" had already confirmed they would attend COP26 in person after its year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.