The World Leaders Summit, which took place on Monday and Tuesday, is intended to encourage negotiators to set aggressive targets for quick action. The event’s organisers seek to show that the Paris Agreement framework can produce enhanced financial, emissions, and adaptation commitments. Commitments to phase out coal, promote electric vehicles, reduce deforestation, and manage methane emissions are some of the consequences of the summit.
Several activists and campaigners have spoken to the leaders at COP26 on their own experiences with climate pressures. Below are some of the statements of activists.
Kenyan environment and climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti said: “We need you to respond with courage to the climate and ecological crisis for these next two weeks, which are so critical for the children, for our species, for so many other living beings. Let us step into our hearts.”
A Samoan climate activist, Brianna Fruean, said: “You all have the power here today to be better. You wield the weapons that can save us or sell us out.”
The British broadcaster and climate expert Sir David Attenborough urged delegates to put out the effort necessary to achieve a historic breakthrough.
He said: “As you spend the next two weeks debating, negotiating, persuading and compromising as you surely must, it’s easy to forget that ultimately the emergency climate comes down to a single number – the concentration of carbon in our atmosphere.”
“The measure that greatly determines global temperature and the changes in that one number is the clearest way to chart our own story. For it defines our relationship with our world.”
“A new industrial revolution powered by millions of sustainable innovations is essential and is indeed already beginning. We will all share in the benefits affordable clean energy, healthy air and enough food to sustain us all. Nature is a key ally. Wherever we restore the wild, it will recapture carbon and help us bring back balance to our planet.”