Rutte will urge world leaders to "action, action, action" at climate summit
The heads of government will meet in Glasgow on Monday and Tuesday to discuss solutions to the climate crisis at the UN Climate Summit. Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte will also be in attendance and other European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Netherlands is joining forces with the other EU countries in the negotiations.
Rutte was optimistic beforehand. He plans to point out to other leaders at the COP26 "the importance that we take this on together worldwide." In short, he said he wanted to see "action, action, action."
This climate summit is considered the most important since Paris in 2015. There, world leaders agreed that they would do everything in their power to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial times. Global greenhouse gas emissions continued to increase after that. In the coronavirus year 2020, less CO2 was emitted, but only because the global economy was slowed down considerably. This year emissions have increased again.
Various reports, including from the scientific climate panel IPCC and the UN environmental agency UNEP, recently showed that the action Rutte was talking about is essential to limit global warming. Reducing emissions further is therefore high on the agenda. The Netherlands is also not yet meeting its own goals, according to a report from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) last week.
Other important points are the completion of the Paris Rulebook, in which the agreements from the Paris agreement are translated into concrete rules, and climate funding for developing countries. The promised 100 billion dollars a year is still about 20 billion dollars short.
United States President Joe Biden is also expected to attend. Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, he sees tackling climate change as one of his primary goals. One problem for Biden is that he is missing majority support to push through all his climate plans due to opposition in his own party.
Also present are Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are absent. Chinese President Xi Jinping is also not expected. He hasn't traveled for a long time due to the coronavirus.
Rutte is only in Glasgow on Monday. In the evening, he has dinner with youth representatives. Later during the summit, Minister Tom de Bruijn (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation), State Secretary Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (Climate and Energy), and State Secretary Steven van Weyenberg (Infrastructure and Water Management) will represent the Netherlands. De Bruijn is expected on November 8 and 9, Yeşilgöz-Zegerius on November 9 and 10 and Van Weyenberg on November 10.
Reporting by ANP