The Latest: UK sets net-zero plan for its financial sector

The most recent U.N. Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow

The Latest: UK sets net-zero plan for its financial sector

The most recent U.N. Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow

GLASGOW (Scotland) -- As investors and companies seek to reap the benefits of the push to create a low-carbon economy, the British government has plans to make the U.K. the "first net-zero aligned finance center in the world."

Rishi Sunak, the U.K. Treasury chief, will outline the government's plans Wednesday at a speech as high-ranking financial officials from all over the globe meet at the U.N. Climate Conference in Glasgow.

The initiative will require U.K. financial institutions as well as publicly traded companies to publish plans detailing their efforts to reduce global warming. This is in line with Britain's goal to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The standards will be developed by a panel of academic and industry leaders as well as regulators and community organizations to ensure that companies are making progress towards meaningful goals.

Sunak stated that the U.K. is one of the most important financial centers in the world and will therefore "have a responsibility to lead" the financing of global warming efforts.

These comments were made after Britain and other wealthy nations failed to fulfill their promise to fund climate-related projects in developing countries by 2020 with $100 billion per year.

Sunak will call on wealthy countries to increase their support for climate projects within the developing world. According to an advance statement, Sunak stated that the $100 billion goal will be achieved by 2020.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- President Joe Biden gave praise to fellow global leaders at the UN Climate Summit, saying that they showed "great example" of what it takes to combat the growing threat of global warming.

Biden stated at the beginning of his summit-ending news conference, "I can't imagine any other days where more has been done on climate than these two."

Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. would launch a plan for reducing methane emissions. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas which contributes greatly to global warming. This announcement was part of an international effort by the European Union and other countries to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

He said that China, which is the largest greenhouse emitter in the world, made a huge mistake by not having Chinese President Xi Jinping attend. He said that the Chinese had "lost their ability to influence people all over the world and all the people at COP" by not attending the summit.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Tuesday's apology by the United Nations was for participants at this year’s global climate conference not being able to access the venue or log on to virtual meetings.

The U.N. climate agency, which organized much of the meeting in Glasgow (Scotland), said that the event took place under "exceptional and unprecedented logistical conditions." These included pandemic restrictions on more than 30,000 people who registered for the Oct. 31-Nov.12 conference. This resulted in restrictions on the number of people allowed in rooms.

The U.N. has been accused by civil society groups of not being inclusive in a matter of vital importance to communities all over the globe.

According to the U.N., the first days were a "learning process."

It stated that "We are constantly learning and adapting" but asked participants to be prepared for long queues.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, says that the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping from the COP26 leaders summit in Glasgow "does not mean the Chinese aren't engaging" in the fight against climate change.

Johnson stated Tuesday that he wanted the country to do more in reducing carbon emissions. Johnson said that China sent a delegation of "very high-ranking" people to the U.N. Climate Conference talks in Glasgow, even though Xi stayed at home. He cited the coronavirus pandemic.

China has committed to net-zero carbon emission by 2060, ten years later than most nations and to see carbon emissions peak by 2030 or earlier.

"The question is: how much more before? Johnson stated that this is what Johnson discussed with China.

The host country for the conference is Scotland's prime minister. He stated that China had made a "substantial commitment". Although he praised Beijing for its decision to stop financing coal plants abroad, he did not praise it at home.

Johnson stated at a press conference that "you can already see the effect of the Chinese decision...in all Asia-Pacific Region already."

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Tuesday saw nearly three dozen countries and dozens launching an effort to reduce the contribution of agriculture to global warming. The goal is to make farming more resilient to climate change and increase food supply.

The United States and United Arab Emirates led this effort. It was announced at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland. The initiative has been supported by 31 nations and non-governmental organizations.

Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate is the name of the initiative. In a statement, the U.S. Agriculture Department stated that the program has already attracted $4 billion to invest in climate-friendly improvements in agriculture and food systems over the next five year.

Globally, agriculture is responsible for large amounts of climate-damaging greenhouse gases. Agriculture and food networks are also vulnerable to droughts and other worsening catastrophes as the Earth's temperatures rise.

This program coordinates the efforts of researchers, scientists, government regulators and other experts on the problem.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Leonardo DiCaprio brought a touch Hollywood star power to the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow. He attracted a large crowd of journalists as well as fans when he arrived for Day 3.

On Tuesday, the actor, who is a U.N. representative on climate change, was photographed in a blue suit with a dark mask. He was surrounded by an entourage and a group of people looking to take photos of DiCaprio using their smartphones.

46-year-old DiCaprio visited Kew Science’s Carbon Garden Space. This exhibition was located in the main conference centre and aims to show the importance of plants in providing solutions for climate change.

According to a spokesperson, the actor enjoyed the Kew's spectacular display of plants and messages about nature-based climate solutions.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- The head U.N. nuclear agency emphasized atomic power as a key method to balance climate concerns and meet the world's energy demands.

Many environmentalists are skeptical about nuclear energy because of the possibility of catastrophic accidents and the question of what to do if it does go away.

However, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency stated Tuesday that he sees renewed interest in nuclear among younger people. He said that they don't have the same associations as those in the old ecology movement.

The Associated Press was told by Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of Nuclear Energy, that the main advantage of nuclear energy is the constant supply rather than the fluctuating from solar or wind.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- While Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, cautioned against "caught up with a mood of overaggerated enthusiasm", he celebrated the progress made at the U.N. Climate Summit.

Johnson, along with scores of other leaders, were preparing for Tuesday's departure from the COP26 conference in Glasgow. They had just completed two days of talks in Scotland. As negotiators try to make the climate promises of politicians a reality, the summit will continue for another 10 days.

Johnson stated that his message to negotiators was: "The eyes and the peoples of the world are watching you."

Johnson stated at a press conference that it was important not to give up on false hope, but that he was optimistic about the outcome of the talks that are being held to keep the world on track to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

He mentioned India's promise to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030, and the pledge of more than 100 world leaders that they would not allow deforestation.

Johnson repeated the comparison of climate change as a ticking doomsday machine, but added, "We have a bomb disposal team on-site, and they are starting to snip wires."

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis claims that this year's U.N. Climate Conference will prove "if there really is a political will to do what it takes" to combat climate change and help the "poorer, more vulnerable nations most affected."

Francis expressed his regret at not being able to attend the conference and said so in a message that was read by the Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said: "I had hoped that I could be with you in person in Glasgow, Scotland," but "that was not possible."

In the message, he added, "I am with you, but I will be praying for you as you make these important decisions."

Since 2013, Francis has made the protection of the environment a central pillar of his papacy. In his message to the COP26 conference, he stated that "sadly, we must admit how far we still have to go in tackling climate change."

The pontiff exhorted the international community to act with honesty, responsibility, and courage when addressing global warming.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- China is in a "special developmental stage" that justifies its current status as the largest emitter of climate-damaging fossil fuel polluting pollution. This was Tuesday's statement by the country's top climate negotiator.

Xie Zhenhua is a U.N. climate negotiator, special climate envoy for China and spoke Tuesday to reporters at the U.N. summit on climate in Glasgow, Scotland. China is a significant polluter, but the summit has not seen much of it. Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, has chosen not to join the more than 100 world leaders attending the summit. Instead, he addressed observers and delegates via a written message Monday.

Xie played a key role in the negotiations leading to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. He highlighted China's position that the United States and other advanced nations should do more to reduce climate-damaging emission faster than China.

"We have already made our greatest possible effort to address climate changes," Xie stated, stating that China could not start reducing its dependence on coal-fired power stations faster than it was.

"So, regarding the fact China is currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, it's because China has reached a special developmental stage." Xie stated.

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KAMPALA (UGANDA) -- The International Monetary Fund's managing director says that Africa's women need to be empowered in order to increase its resilience against climate change.

Kristalina Georgieva spoke Tuesday at an Africa-focused summit of the U.N. climate conference, Glasgow, Scotland.

She said, "When women have the power to make decisions, communities can be better."

She stated that there must be an end to all obstacles to adaptation, which include a wider access to credit for farmers and investments in resilient infrastructure. Georgieva stated that the world must do more to help Africa adapt to climate change.

African leaders are urging the international community to help the continent of 1.3bn people. This continent contributes the least to global emissions, but is most vulnerable to climate change.

African Union is seeking $12.5 billion to fund a $25 billion climate adaptation program that will be implemented over five years. The African Development Bank is responsible for half of this money.

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KAMPALA, Uganda -- A head of the African Union said that the international community must support Africa's efforts to adapt climate change. This includes a program that will cost $25 billion over five-years.

Tuesday's U.N. climate conference in Glasgow saw President Felix Tshisekedi of Democratic Republic of Congo speak. He stated that the continent requires $12.5 billion from the world, with the balance coming out of the African Development Bank.

Tshisekedi made these remarks to a gathering of world leaders. He stated that the global effort on climate changes "cannot be won unless it's won in Africa." He hoped the money would be raised before the next conference.

He stated, "It's a starting point and not a ceiling and it will contribute towards building trust and confidence."

Experts say that the continent of 1.3billion people contributes little to climate change, but will be most affected by its impacts. Climate campaigners and leaders in Africa have long called for substantial cash donations and technology transfers to increase resilience.

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GLASGOW -- Tuesday's U.N. summit in Glasgow saw world leaders look at a Formula 1 car that was made of recycled plastic as well as a microwave-sized device capable of producing hydrogen fuel.

At the summit, President Joe Biden stated that "our current technology alone will not get us to where we need". He also said that "we must invest in breakthroughs."

Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, praised his country's "One Sun. One World. One Grid" initiative, which aims to create an interconnected solar grid that spans time zones.

The session was attended and moderated in part by Dana Strong, Sky Group CEO.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- The United States and a number of European countries will provide expertise and funds to South Africa to get rid of coal and develop more renewable energy.

German officials stated that South Africa will receive approximately $8.5 billion in loans, grants and loans over the next five years to help it transition away from coal-fired power stations which are a major source for greenhouse gas emissions.

South Africa receives about 90% of its electricity through coal-fired power plants.

Svenja Schulze, German Environment Minister, announced Tuesday the partnership. The partnership, which is also supported by Britain, France, and the European Union, "has potential to be a model for other regions."

The initiative's main focus will be to create jobs for tens and thousands of people in South Africa’s coal mining industry.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Nearly half of the world's methane-emissions countries have signed a pledge Tuesday to reduce by at least 30% their emissions over the next ten years.

One of the best ways to reduce emissions is to clamp down on methane flaring, leaks from gas pipelines and oil wells.

It is more difficult to cut methane from agriculture, especially belching cows.

Dozens upon dozens of countries including the United States, European Union member, and Britain have signed up to the pledge. This is one of several methane-reduction initiatives announced Tuesday by the Biden administration.

Helen Mountford, a climate expert from the World Resources Institute, stated that the agreement "sets an important floor in terms of what ambition we need globally."

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MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin said that Russia depends on its forests for their "significant capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen." This is in order to achieve the goal of a carbon neutral economy by 2060.

Putin stated Tuesday that Russia accounts for 20% of the world's forest land.

Experts question Russia's calculations about how much carbon their forests absorb, especially in light of recent forest fires that have decimated the country.

Putin made these comments in a video statement during the launch of a new initiative to prevent deforestation. This initiative was announced on Tuesday at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow. Putin will not be attending COP26 personally, and there is no reason to believe he won't.

According to the Russian leader, Moscow hopes that the 100-country declaration on forests and land uses will foster "closer partnerships" in forest conservation. It also aims to "help achieve the Paris Agreement's objectives of reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere."

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KAMPALA (UGANDA) -- The International Rescue Committee urges world leaders to invest urgently in climate resilience and famine prevention for the most vulnerable countries of the world at the U.N. Climate Summit.

It said that people in some African countries, such as Somalia, are facing "the sharp end" of the climate crisis, which includes emergency conditions due to current levels of global warming.

Kurt Tjossem (the group's vice-president for East Africa), stated in a statement that they are extremely concerned about the effects of continued drought and conflict on vulnerable people throughout the Horn of Africa. This is where a large portion of the population depends heavily on crops to eat, and sell them for their livelihood.

According to him, Somalia has 3.5 million people who are hungry after a failed harvest. Farmers in the country depend on their livestock and see their animals starve daily.

Experts believe that Africa, home to 1.3 billion people, will be the most affected by global warming.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor, says that more than 1,000 cities and local governments support a campaign for net zero, promising to pursue ambitious climate actions to reduce global temperature rises.

Garcetti, who is the outgoing chair for the C40 group, big-city mayors, stated to a panel discussion at U.N. climate conferences in Glasgow that the communities had pledged to take actions to meet the goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degree Fahrenheit).

Scientists warn that time is running out to achieve this goal, and that conference was centered on the desire to preserve that goal.

One or more of the 1,049 communities signed up to participate in one or more actions such as divesting fossil fuels, creating sustainable foods systems, and reducing air pollution. These actions could reduce global emissions by at most 1.4 gigatons per year by 2030.

Garcetti stated that this must be the decade of exponential actions.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- At the U.N. climate conference in Paris, environmentalists launched their "Fossil Of The Day" awards. Australia and Britain were the first to be awarded the questionable honor.

Climate Action Network, a group that includes hundreds of non-governmental organizations, stated that many observers who traveled long distances in order to attend the summit were unable to reach meetings due to lengthy lines. CAN stated that technical issues prevented them from connecting from another location.

It asked the host country for better organization to allow civil society groups to participate in the talks.

Australia was awarded the second "fossil", for approving three coal projects recently, even though it claimed to be stepping up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- Ecuador's President has announced that the country will almost double the size of the marine reserve surrounding the Galapagos Islands.

Guillermo Lasso, President of the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow, Tuesday said that the government had reached an agreement with the conservation, fishery and tourism sectors to create a new marine reserve on the Galapagos Islands. It will cover 60,000 km (more than 23,000 miles).

Lasso stated that this would be added onto an existing marine reserve measuring approximately 130,000 square kilometers (50,000 miles).

Experts say oceans are especially vulnerable to climate change. The Galapagos Islands, which are one of the most important biodiversity jewels in the world, are being cited as an example.

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GLASGOW (Scotland) -- More than 100 countries have pledged to stop deforestation. Scientists believe this is a key driver of climate change.

The United Nations climate conference in Glasgow was hailed by Britain as the first major achievement.

Campaigners insist that they must see the details -- these promises have been broken before.

According to the U.K. government, it received commitments from leaders representing more that 85% of the world’s forests to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030.

The plan has received more than $19 billion in private and public funds. It is supported by countries like Brazil, China and Colombia.

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BEIJING -- China contributes the most to global warming, and the Chinese people are already feeling the brunt of climate changes.

The historic floods that decimated farms in the country's agricultural heartland this summer are an example of the extreme conditions the country will face as the planet heats.

According to Chinese government reports, rising sea levels are predicted to threaten coastal cities and melt glaciers will endanger western China's water supply. People with less resources are more likely to suffer in the same pattern as the rest of the world. One farmer from Henan province stated that "Ordinary people suffer the most."

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