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22 June, 2024
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President Anastasiades attends COP26

End-of-the-world rhetoric in speeches from several world leaders

Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides

The President of the Republic, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, along with 130 world leaders, is attending the COP26 climate conference being held in Glasgow, Scotland.  The inauguration of the two week long event began yesterday on the 31st of October.

President Anastasiades travelled to Glasgow this morning and was welcomed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Only time will tell if these conferences will result in meaningful change. For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for these global climate summits.

The President, who is travelling with Minister of Agriculture Costas Kadis, is scheduled to present a report to the attendees on the effects of climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Government spokesperson Marios Pelekanos said in a statement, "The work of the summit on tackling climate change has already begun. Today's program includes the opening events for the summit and the program concludes tonight with a dinner hosted by the leader of the country hosting the summit, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for all leaders attending".

COP26, also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, brings together the leaders of countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change back in 1995 held in Berlin.  The aim it to discuss how climate change will be tackled and agree on global and national targets.

According to a report in the Associated Press, several world leaders turned up the heat and resorted to end-of-the-world rhetoric on Monday in an attempt to bring new urgency to sputtering international climate negotiations.

The metaphors were dramatic and mixed.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, global warming was “a doomsday device” strapped to humanity. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told his colleagues that people are “digging our own graves.” And Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, speaking for vulnerable island nations, added moral thunder, warning leaders not to “allow the path of greed and selfishness to sow the seeds of our common destruction.”

Only time will tell if these conferences will result in meaningful change.  For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for these global climate summits.  And with so much extreme weather occuring all over the world, it seems imperative that actions must match words.

According to government spokesperson Marios Pelekanos, "it is important to say that a large number of leaders are participating in the summit, which also proves the will of all participating states to contribute to tackling this problem facing our planet."

Cyprus  |  environment  |  cop26

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