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COP26 latest news LIVE: XR activists march in Glasgow as protests run into third day

Protests have run into their third day outside the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Extinction Rebellion activists have marched through the city centre on Wednesday afternoon to “confront the threat of greenwashing”.

Images show people gathered with banners reading “COP26 act now!” and “No more blah, blah, blah” in reference to a speech made by Greta Thunberg.

Earlier Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans for the UK to become the “first ever net zero aligned financial centre” earlier in the day.

He told delegates at the COP26 summit in Glasgow it will soon be mandatory for firms to publish a “clear, deliverable plan” setting out how they will transition to net zero.


Follow the live updates below

Read More

COP26 programme: Full schedule and agenda for this year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow

Anti-poverty campaigners’ inflatable Nessie ‘seized’ by police at COP26

Stop Cambo activist dressed as Queen ‘turns off oil tap’ in Cop26 protest

Key Points

21:56 , Matt Watts

Thats it for our coverage of COP26 for today. Check back in at the Standard tomorrow for more news from the climate summit.

Sunak opens climate finance panel

16:26 , Daniel Keane

Rishi Sunak has opened a panel event discussing long-term climate finance.

The Chancellor said: “We know that public investment is not enough. We need to mobilise the power of private finance.

“All financial flows must become aligned with the climate targets we have signed up to.

“The financial system needs to support jobs, innovation and deliver growth for those who need it most.”

Premier League and LTA to launch sustainability strategy

16:15 , Daniel Keane

The Premier League and the Lawn Tennis Association have announced their commitment to a global framework designed to combat climate change.

Signatories to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework are committed to a minimum target of a 50 per cent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2040.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “Working alongside the UN and other leading sports organisations, we aim to help achieve the targets set by the Paris Climate Change Agreement for a low carbon future.

“Like all sports, football has the power to unite people and we hope that through our work and public commitment to climate change goals, we will also encourage football fans around the world to consider how they can reduce their own carbon footprint.”

‘We are careering more catastrophe’, says UN chief

16:04 , Daniel Keane

Antonio Guterres, the UN’s secretary-general, warned the world is careering toward climate catastrophe, unless we act now” as he collected an honorary degree in person from Cambridge University.

In an address at the university’s Senate House after he collected the degree, he spoke of the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis.

Mr Guterres said: “We are careening toward climate catastrophe, unless we act now to keep temperature rises to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement.

“Current pledges put us on course for an uninhabitable world, with temperatures at least two degrees higher than they were in pre-industrial times.

“Biodiversity is collapsing, with a million species at risk of extinction. We are polluting and poisoning air, water and land.”

Indigenous communities march in Glasgow

15:45 , Daniel Keane

Indigenous people whose island homes are sinking underwater due to climate change have marched on the Cop26 venue in Glasgow aiming to “heal the legacy of colonialism”.

Groups from Panama, Amazonia, Patagonia, Alaska and the wider USA were joined by activists as they progressed through the streets to the sound of drums and wood pipes.

They marched from Glasgow Green along the Clyde to the Cop26 campus, where they were initially denied access.

A small number of the indigenous people were shortly afterwards allowed into the conference where they planned on meeting with the president of Cop26, Alok Sharma.


What is ‘greenwashing’?

15:21 , Elly Blake

You might keep hearing the term ‘greenwashing’ being used at COP26. But what does it mean?

‘Greenwashing’ refers to the practice of businesses giving the impression that their products, services or practices are more environmentally friendly than they actually are.

Companies who use greenwashing to promote themselves usually exaggerate the truth about being environmentally friendly to portray themselves in a better light.

Greenwashing has allegedly become more common in recent years as the environment and climate change becomes a primary focus.

Protesters at COP26 are calling on businesses to stop ‘greenwashing’, including Extinction Rebellion activists who took to the streets of Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon to demonstrate against the practice.

Greta Thunberg arrives at the summit ahead of debate

15:12 , Elly Blake

18-year-old Swedish climate activist has arrived at the SEC venue in Glasgow ahead of a panel she will participate in on Wednesday afternoon.


Earlier in the day, she joked that she had “decided to go net-zero on swear words and bad language”.

This was after Ms Thunberg gave a sweary speech in which she criticised world leaders at a park in Glasgow.

Royalty and celebrities mix at COP26 talks

14:38 , Elly Blake

The Prince of Wales spoke with Stella McCartney and Leonardo DiCaprio on day three of COP26.


Prince Charles met with the Hollywood actor and fashion designer at an event at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Wednesday.

This is a 'unique COP in quite extraordinary times' - Alok Sharma

14:16 , Elly Blake

When asked about logistical issues including access to COP26, after photographs emerged of hundreds of people queuing to enter the summit over the last few days, Mr Sharma said it was a “unique COP in quite extraordinary times”.

He said that implementing extra Covid-19 measures including social distancing, mandatory face coverings and daily testing had incurred challenges - including longer wait times to access the event.

But Mr Sharma defended the event’s organisation, saying feedback from delegates had been that the UK had "done something really quite positive in Covid times".

Mr Sharma said "we regret any logistical issues” that people feel are stopping them from entering the venue in a "timely manner" but organisers were working to fix these.

Organisers hope entry issues will "settle over the next few days,” he added.

When asked about inclusivity of the talks, he said there were discussions every day to address issues that had emerged.

Extinction Rebellion ‘greenwashing’ protest continues

14:06 , Elly Blake

XR activists have stopped outside JP Morgan premises in Glasgow as part of their ‘greenwashing’ protest.


Alok Sharma: World firmly united in delivering net zero future

13:57 , Elly Blake

COP26 President Alok Sharma has told a news conference that the goal of COP26 is to “keep 1.5 degrees within reach”.

The “most vulnerable countries are at the front and centre of my mind”, he said.

It is encouraging developed countries have stepped up in the most recent months and days, he told delegates.

He wanted to make sure no country is left behind as coal is assigned “to the history books”.

Mr Sharma said he was “cautiously optimistic” progress was being made across a range of issues and praised the “can do attitude” of leaders in negotiation rooms.

Chairman of Least Developed Countries: COP26 talks ‘frightening’ so far

13:35 , Elly Blake

The chairman of the Least Developed Countries group has said COP26 climate talks have so far been disappointing and “frightening.”

Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi, who chairs the group which has 46 members, said: “The progress made here is disappointing and in a way also frightening.”

Mr Wangdi called for additional funds to be made available for countries suffering from damage resulting from climate change at a news conference on Wednesday.

He continued: “It has been a too little and too late kind of situation.

“And we are still not clear about what is happening with the $100bn, but what we know is that we are getting very little.”

Johnson: ‘Too early’ to say if China will make desired climate pledges at COP26

13:23 , Elly Blake

When pressed by Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey over concerns on China’s approach at the summit, the Prime Minister told MPs: “What’s happening with China is very important but it’s a mixed picture, and it’s important not to be too negative at present.”

On domestic Chinese coal-fired production, Mr Johnson said the UK is “hoping for progress there”, before noting: “We’re hoping when China says they can peak before 2030 in CO2 output that that date of before is correct and considerably nearer now than 2030.”

He said China’s commitment to stop overseas financing for coal had had an “instant impact” on many of its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, with some of them also stopping such financing.

Mr Johnson continued: “Whether it’s going to be possible at this Cop to get China to make the commitments that are really necessary, I’m afraid it’s just too early to say.”

Chinese leader Xi Jinping did not attend the summit in Glasgow but did sent delegates to the talks, which are due to run until November 14.

Conservation group WWF hails Chancellor’s announcement as a 'big step’

13:03 , Elly Blake

The WWF has hailed Rishi Sunak’s plan to make the UK the first net zero financial centre, describing it as a “big step”.

Katie White, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF, said the Chancellor had “shown real leadership” after making the announcement during Finance Day at the COP26 Summit.

She said: “A thriving economy relies on a healthy planet, and this should be a wake-up call for the 80 per cent of FTSE 100 firms yet to publish credible climate plans.

“The UK can’t keep its climate promises without swift action from companies, as they are responsible for two thirds of the UK’s climate emissions.”

Extinction Rebellion protestors hit the streets of Glasgow

12:59 , Elly Blake

XR campaigners are marching through Glasgow on Wednesday to “confront the threat of greenwashing”.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

They accuse COP26 sponsors of “covering up their destructive habuts with this PR trick while corrupting climate negotiations and endangering life on Earth”.

The group is demonstrating in the city centre.

Boris Johnson gives hope to Scotland’s carbon capture and storage system

12:48 , Elly Blake

The Prime Minister said not to despair after plans were rejected for Scotland’s carbon capture and storage system.

“I am a massive enthusiast for carbon capture and storage around the whole of the UK,” he told MPs at the Commons.

“The Acorn project in Aberdeen remains on the reserve list. He should not give up.

“We want to make sure we have a fantastic industry generating clean hydrogen around the country. He should not despair.

“We are supporting amazing Scottish plans to get clan energy from wind from hydrogen from all sorts of means.”

12:44 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson making a statement on COP26 in the House of Commons

Some 18 G20 countries have made commitments for net zero, he told MPs in an update on the progress of the UN summit.

Mr Johnson said the G20, including China, said it would stop financing overseas coal projects and every member committed to the Paris target of 1.5C.

But “far more needs to be done to spare humanity from catastrophic climate change,” he added.

“The biggest summit the United Kingdom the ever hosted is now under way in Glasgow”.

Negotiations in Glasgow have almost two weeks to run but “we can take heart” from the work done so far, the Prime Minister said.

Deputy leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner said she was "pleased to see there has been some progress but the next ten days needs to move beyond pre-packed announcements".

PM asked why CO2 storage cluster was rejected in Scotland

12:42 , Laura Sharman

Ian Blackford quizzed the Prime Minister on why plans were rejected for a CO2 storage project in Scotland.

The SNP Westminster leader referred to Sir David Attenborough’s “powerful opening statement to Cop26 urging for billions of tons of carbon to be recaptured from the air.

“The Committee on Climate Change has been clear that carbon capture and storage is a necessity not an option to achieve the planet’s net zero targets,” he continued.

“Scotland is finding partners across the world to tackle the climate emergency but in Westminster there isn’t even a willing partner to deliver the carbon capture project that was long promised.

“Scotland’s north east has now been waiting weeks for a reason why the Scottish cluster bid was rejected.

“Does he know how much of the UK’s CO2 storage the Scottish cluster could deliver?”

Ian Blackford (PA Wire)
Ian Blackford (PA Wire)

Johnson: Green aviation will come before third Heathrow runway

12:24 , Elly Blake

The Prime Minister predicted “clean, green aviation” is likely to happen before a third runway is built at Heathrow Airport.

Boris Johnson said the government was focused on achieving “net-zero aviation”, adding in the Commons: “That’s the future of this country. Clean, green aviation.

“And by the way, I think that has every chance of arriving a lot earlier than a third runway at Heathrow.”

Mr Johnson, who is MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has previously voiced his opposition to expansion of the west London hub, declaring that he would lie in front of the bulldozers.

Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister's Questions (PA)
Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister's Questions (PA)

Boris Johnson pressed for fresh vote ‘to kill off' extra runway at Heathrow

12:21 , Elly Blake

Labour MP Rupa Huq, of Ealing Central and Acton, pressed for a new vote in the Commons “to kill off” the additional runway at the London airport.

Addressing the Prime Minister, Dr Huq said: “Would he be consistent with what he has always said and done and take on the biggest emitter of CO2 in the whole of Europe that greedily, veraciously wants more?

“Will he ditch his predecessors... and have a fresh vote in this house to kill off the third runway at Heathrow?”

PM asked if he has caught up with his sleep following COP26 appearance

12:16 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson has returned to the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions after welcoming world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow.

Labour MP Dr Rupa Huq said: “The Prime Minster has been busy preaching urgency this week at COP26. I hope he caught up with his sleep.”

Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQs on November 3 (AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQs on November 3 (AFP via Getty Images)

STV boss says broadcasters risk becoming irrelevant if they do not act

12:00 , Laura Sharman

Simon Pitts, chief executive of STV, said a failure to act on climate change risks broadcasters becoming irrelevant to their audiences.

“In a couple of generations, when they look back not just on Covid but what we are doing now, we are not going to be judged on whether we managed to hit our quarterly targets and profit numbers,” he said.

“It is if we stepped up and did the right thing.

“This isn’t pure altruism, it is a commercial imperative for us. If we don’t do all the things we are discussing, we won’t be relevant to our audiences and crucially to our people.”

11:38 , Elly Blake

Indigenous people in ceremonial dress march to COP26

Indigenous people in ceremonial dress have begun marching from the McLennan Arch in Glasgow Green Park to the SEC to announce their arrival at COP26.


On day two of the summit, Prince Charles called on world leaders to “safeguard and honour the rights of indigenous peoples”.

11:26 , Elly Blake

Inflatable Loch Ness monster seized by police in dawn raid, say anti-poverty campaigners

Police have confiscated an inflatable Loch Ness monster that anti-poverty campaigners had hoped to float on the River Clyde as finance ministers meet at COP26.

Jubilee Debt Campaign had planned to launch the inflatable on the water to highlight that there is “no climate justice without debt justice”, which it said means cancelling lower income countries’ debt and providing climate finance without creating new debt.

But police arrived at Govan Graving Docks in Glasgow at around 7am and prevented them from moving it, the group said.

11:18 , Elly Blake

Greta Thunberg pledges to ‘go net zero on swear words and bad language’

The 18-year-old Swedish activist made the jibe after videos emerged of her swearing and criticising world leaders at a campaign rally at Festival Park in Glasgow earlier in the week.

In a tweet on Wednesday she said: “I am pleased to announce that I’ve decided to go net-zero on swear words and bad language.

“In the event that I should say something inappropriate I pledge to compensate that by saying something nice.”

11:13 , Elly Blake

World has 60 per cent change of capping global temperature at 1.5C, US climate envoy says

John Kerry, the US climate envoy, has told delegates he thinks there is a 60 per cent chance of capping rise in the average temperature at 1.5C, based on current global commitments on cutting carbon emissions.

With the most recent pledges made at COP26, he said 65 per cent of global GDP was now covered by implementable climate change plans.

The Paris agreement saw countries pledge to limit global warming to well below 2C, preferably to 1.5C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

He also emphasised the importance of the world hitting its goal of halving global emissions by 2030 if it wanted to reach net zero by mid-century.

“2050 is also gone if you don’t get 2030,” he warned.

10:53 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson hails ‘historic’ leaders’ summit at COP26

The Prime Minister has uploaded a video to social media summarising the progress made by world leaders at COP26 over the last few days.

He said they had made “huge strides towards our goal of keeping 1.5 degrees in reach”.

Mr Johnson added: “Leaders are taking action on coal, cars, cash and trees to accelerate action this decade”.

This, he said, includes the Glasgow leaders’ declaration to reverse deforestation by 2030, a clean green intiative to support the rollout of sustainable infrastructure and green technology in developing countries, and an international plan to deliver clean and affordable technology everywhere by 2030.

He continued: “Over the next two weeks as COP26 negotiations continue, we will make even more progress.

“It has been a historic leaders’ summit and a testament to what we can do when we all work together towards a common goal.

“The goal being to protect and preserve our planet for future generations”.

10:30 , Elly Blake

Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has begun speaking

UN special envoy on climate action finance Mark Carney says despite the breakthroughs in Paris in 2015, few countries had net zero commitments.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Referring to the financial sector, the former Bank of England governor said: “Too many thought this was someone else’s problem.”

He adds: “We know that only mainstream finance can fund the estimated $100tn of investment needed over the course of the next three decades for a clean energy future.”

10:25 , Elly Blake

Protestor dresses up as Queen to ‘turn off tap to North Sea oil’

A protest against the Cambo oil field, which the government is set to approve in the sea, west of Shetland, is under way at the Buchanan steps in Glasgow.

A campaigner dressed up as the Queen has arrived to “turn off the tap to North Sea oil” in a mock ceremony organised by Stop Cambo.

 (Jessica Kleczka / Twitter)
(Jessica Kleczka / Twitter)

The campaign group says the climate impacts of a new oilfield “would be devastating”.

10:11 , Elly Blake

Greta Thunberg to participate in debate on the media’s role in covering climate change

The 18-year-old Swedish climate activist will take part in a panel looking at how the media reports on the climate crisis at the New York Times Climate Hub on Wednesday afternoon.

Read more about how Greta Thunberg became the most famous teenager on the planet here.

10:11 , Elly Blake

Greta Thunberg to participate in debate on the media’s role in covering climate change

The 18-year-old Swedish climate activist will take part in a panel looking at how the media reports on the climate crisis at the New York Times Climate Hub at 4pm on Wednesday.

Read more about how Greta Thunberg became the most famous teenager on the planet here.

09:37 , Elly Blake

Net zero target could cost up to $150tn over next three decades, according to US Treasury Secretary

Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, said the “climate crisis is already here” and was a challenge that must be confronted today - rather than being left for future generations.

She told delegates at the summit that the global transition to net zero has been estimated at between $100tn-$150tn over the next three decades.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

“I believe we must all do more and the US is stepping up,” she added.

09:12 , Elly Blake

Chancellor Rishi Sunak sets out vision for world’s first ‘net zero’ financial hub

Mr Sunak said it was “easy to feel daunted by the scale of the challenge we face” but that he felt optimistic that COP26 will bring together leaders to “direct the world’s wealth to preserve our planet”.

The Chancellor announced his vision to make the UK the “first ever net zero” financial hub.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

He told the summit: “Today I am announcing the UK will go further and become the first ever net zero aligned financial centre.

“This means we are going to move towards making it mandatory for firms to publish a clear, deliverable plan setting out how they will decarbonise and transition to net zero with an independent task force.”

All financial institutions and listed companies in the UK will be forced to publish plans on how they will transition to net zero from 2023.

09:08 , Elly Blake

Queen urges world leaders to work together in ‘common cause’ in message at Piccadilly Circus

A message by the Queen has been displayed at Piccadilly Circus in central London on Wednesday morning.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

It says: “The time for words is now the time for action.”

Her Majesty also appealed to global leaders to work together in “common cause” against climate change to “solve the most insurmountable problems”.

09:02 , Elly Blake

Police seize inflatable Loch Ness Monster in dawn raid

Police have confiscated an inflatable Loch Ness Monster at Govan Dry Dock after it was seized in a dawn raid.


The four metre tall, eight metre long inflatable monster was set to feature in a demonstration organised by anti-poverty group, Jubilee Debt Campaign, to highlight that there is no climate justice without debt justice.

Members of the Jubilee Debt Campaign stood next to the inflatable, holding signs saying “drop the debt monster” and “climate justice now”.

08:49 , Elly Blake

Rishi Sunak preparing to deliver keynote speech

The Chancellor is warming up ahead of his announcement, set to begin at 9am.


He is expected to outline how UK companies will soon need to publish their plans to achieve net zero by the UK’s target date of 2050.

This is part of his ambition to make the UK the first net zero financial centre.

08:26 , Elly Blake

COP26 queues ‘really concerning’ amid pandemic, says public health expert

A public health expert has told how seeing images of hundreds of people in close proximity as they waited to enter COP26 has left her feeling “quite anxious”.

The UN climate change conference at the SEC in Glasgow was hit by a second day of queuing on Tuesday, with crowds waiting for more than an hour to gain access to the summit.

Professor Devi Sridhar, of the University of Edinburgh, told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “It is really concerning, this week I have been quite anxious seeing all that and knowing how fragile the situation has been.

“We’ve controlled the situation for quite a long time. Can we control it even after this big gathering, that’s the question.

“Will it lead to a spike, will it lead to a wave, will actually the mitigation measures have been enough?”

The UK recorded 33,865 positive cases and 293 deaths on Tuesday, according to latest figures.

08:19 , Elly Blake

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has described Rishi Sunak’s plans to make the UK a net zero financial hub as "good news" and a "commitment that is long overdue".

But the Labour MP told Sky News: "The question is whether this actually happens.

"What we've seen over the last six years is when attention moves away, those commitments are not upheld".

She also called on the Government to "lead by example" and include climate commitments in future trade deals.

08:07 , Elly Blake

Chancellor arrives at COP26 ahead of speech

Rishi Sunak has arrived at the SEC in Glasgow ahead of his announcement which is due to begin at 9am.

He was joined by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.


07:43 , Elly Blake

Finance Day schedule at COP26

Wednesday is Finance Day at COP26, with global political, policy and business leaders set to discuss the role of money in achieving net zero.

The focus will be on how to get financial institutions working with governments to achieve global climate targets.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be speaking at 9am, followed by the former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who will lead an event on transforming the global financial sector to deliver climate goals, at 10.15am.

The COP Presidency (UNFCCC) will be holding a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

07:14 , Elly Blake

UK to become first country to have net zero obligation for financial institutions

The UK will lead the way to become the world’s first net zero financial centre, a minister has said.

John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury, has said the plans to be outlined by the Chancellor on Finance Day at COP26 on Wednesday will make the UK "first jurisdiction in the world to have that net zero obligation for financial services".

He told Sky News it was "important we take the lead on this matter".