Cop26: What happened on Day Two of the conference?

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Cop26: What Happened On Day Two Of The Conference? Cop26: What Happened On Day Two Of The Conference?
The World Leaders’ Summit kicked off on Monday with a series of speeches warning of the need for action. Photo: Getty Images
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PA Reporters

The World Leaders’ Summit at Cop26 kicked off on Monday.

Here's what happened at the crunch climate talks today:

Opening ceremony

An opening ceremony for the World Leaders’ Summit heard from UK prime minister Boris Johnson, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Sir David Attenborough, and Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley among others.

The speeches issued a series of stark warnings, that humanity is already in trouble, that we are digging our own graves, that failure is a death sentence for vulnerable countries and that leaders will be judged with “bitterness and resentment” by future generations if they fail to tackle global warming.

The motorcade of US President Joe Biden heads along the M8 motorway towards the Cop26 summit in Glasgow after he arrived at Edinburgh Airport (Andrew Milligan/PA)

World leaders

Around 120 leaders, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin, have come to the two-day World Leaders’ Summit which is being held at the beginning of the two-week Cop26 conference.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping are two notable absences, however, the former will deliver a recorded message to the conference.

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US President Joe Biden was one of the last leaders to arrive at the summit, turning up in a multi-vehicle motorcade after flying in to Edinburgh following his trip to the G20 summit in Rome.

Addressing the conference, Mr Biden apologised for former US president Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, adding that the US and other developed nations bear much of the responsibility for climate change.

In a brief encounter with the Taoiseach, Mr Biden also reaffirmed his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) meets climate activists Greta Thunberg (left) and Vanessa Nakate (right) during the Cop26 summit (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Activists

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said world leaders gathering at the summit should feel “bloody uncomfortable” for not “doing enough” to tackle global warming.

She spoke out after meeting teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who was also at the summit today before heading out to youth climate protests outside the “blue zone” where the negotiations are taking place.

Ms Sturgeon said voices such as Ms Thunberg’s are “so important” as they challenge political leaders from across the globe on “the hard realities of our own lack of delivery”.

Greta Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the Cop26 summit (Andrew Milligan/PA)

'Blah, blah, blah'

Addressing young protesters in Festival Park in Govan, across the River Clyde from the Cop26 venue, Ms Thunberg said change would not come from the Cop26 conference as she repeated her criticism of the “blah blah blah” of world leaders.

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Her comments come after Mr Johnson referenced her in his speech, saying all the promises made by countries under the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change six years ago “will be nothing but blah blah blah, to coin a phrase, and the anger and impatience of the world will be uncontainable”.

The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior makes its way up the River Clyde (Andrew Milligan/PA)
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Climate youth activists on board the Rainbow Warrior were sailing into the heart of Glasgow after officials agreed to allow the ship into the Cop26 restricted zone.

Port authorities wanted to block the famous vessel from entering the area, which bans craft from the stretch of the Clyde next to the SEC conference centre where Cop26 is being held, but on Monday afternoon Police Scotland confirmed the vessel was to be allowed to continue to its destination.

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