British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised an agreement by nearly 200 countries to boost efforts to combat climate change, while expressing disappointment the result of a U.N. climate conference was not stronger.
“We can lobby, we can cajole, we can encourage, but we cannot force sovereign nations to do what they do not wish to do,” Johnson said at a Sunday news conference. “It’s ultimately their decision to make and they must stand by it.”
Johnson told reporters the agreement reached at the conclusion of the two-week summit in Glasgow was “truly historic” and represented the “death knell for coal power” with pledges to phase down the use of coal.
He said that even with disagreement about the extent and speed of actions to try to limit global warming in the coming decades, “the world is undeniably heading in the right direction.”
Patricia Espinosa, the U.N.’s climate secretary, told the Associated Press that solving a challenge such as climate change cannot be done in one conference, but that the Glasgow meeting achieved a “very positive result in the sense that it gives us very clear guidance on what we need to do in the coming years.”
“I think that what we are seeing in the text is that for the first time we’re talking about coal and subsidies to fossil fuels in the context of our process on climate change. And I think that’s a good step forward,” Espinosa said.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and the Agence France-Presse.