7:51 a.m.: Allegations of anti-green plotting ‘a lie,’ Saudi energy minister says
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud has denounced rumors that the oil-rich nation has been trying to sabotage international efforts to go green.
“What you have been hearing is a false allegation, and a cheat and a lie,” he told reporters at COP26.
Documents leaked to Greenpeace’s Unearthed last month showed that leading fossil fuel producers, including Australia, Saudi Arabia and OPEC, had been lobbying the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to change its stance on the need for a rapid global phase out of fossil fuels.
— Chloe Taylor
7:42 a.m.: Still a big mountain to climb — but world leaders must be ambitious, COP26 president says
U.K. lawmaker Alok Sharma, who is serving as president of COP26, has told CNBC world leaders must be ambitious as negotiations at the summit draw to a close.
“Progress has been made but there’s still a pretty big mountain to climb,” Sharma said. “We’ve got 48 hours … and we’re getting to that point where the rubber is at the road and we need to make sure we do our best to get this one over the line.”
Sharma added: “World leaders came here at the start and said they wanted an ambitious outcome, that’s what we all need to drive towards.”
6:47 a.m.: U.S.-China emissions deal will boost COP26 negotiations, UK’s Johnson says
The U.S. and China’s surprise agreement on cutting carbon emissions is a boost to ongoing talks at COP26, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Ministers representing the world’s two biggest polluters unveiled the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s on Wednesday.
4:43 a.m.: Banks and boards could be climate litigation targets
Financial institutions and individual board members could be the next targets of climate litigation cases, according to the campaigners who helped to secure a landmark courtroom victory against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.
“We have litigated against countries and been successful,” said Roger Cox, lawyer for Milieudefensie, an environmental campaign group and the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth. “Now we have shown that one can successfully litigate against fossil fuel corporations and I think that the next step is to start also litigating against financial institutions who make these emissions and fossil fuel projects possible.”
“I even think after that … board members of these large private institutions who continue to willingly frustrate achieving the Paris Agreement might even become liable in years to come under direct liability regulations,” Cox said on Tuesday.
The Hague District Court on May. 26 ordered the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to reduce its global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030, compared with 2019 levels, marking the first time in history that a company had been legally obliged to align its policies with the Paris Agreement.
— Sam Meredith
02:03 a.m.: What’s on the agenda Thursday?
China’s special climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua speaks during a joint China and U.S. statement on a declaration enhancing climate action in the 2020’s on day eleven of the COP26 climate change conference at the SEC on November 10, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images News | Getty Images
The COP26 summit is entering its final few days with the closure of negotiations beginning on Friday and winding down on Saturday.
Delegates and activists will be digesting the surprise pledge from China and the U.S., the world’s biggest carbon polluters, to increase cooperation on climate action.
China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua told reporters on Wednesday that the two countries had struck an agreement that calls for “concrete and pragmatic” regulations in decarbonization, reducing methane emissions and fighting deforestation, Xie said, according to Reuters.
The U.S.’ Climate Envoy John Kerry commented that the declaration is a “step in the right direction.”
The summit’s focus on Thursday will be on ‘Cities, Regions and Built Environment’ and looking to advance climate “action in the places we live, from communities, through to cities and regions,” COP26’s organizers say.
— Holly Ellyatt