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Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia ‘lobbied UN scientists to water down report on climate change’

Major countries are attempting to put pressure on scientists to water down a key United Nations report into climate change, it has today been reported.

Countries including Australia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Japan are reportedly among the countries who have asked the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels.

Wealthier nations have also reportedly questioned giving more funding to poor countries to assist the move to greener technologies.

The claims comes from a leak of documents, seen by the BBC, and just days before the major COP26 climate summit due to be held in Glasgow.

Leaders a the summit will be asked to make commitments to slow down climate change and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. 

According to the BBC, the documents contain 32,000 submissions made by governments, companies and other interested parties.

They have been sent to a team of scientists compiling a UN report aiming to bring together scientific evidence on how to tackle climate change.

Countries including Australia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Japan are reportedly among the countries asking the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels (pictured: Library image)

The submissions are a normal part of the report-making process and, because a consensus is needed to make the report effective, evidence from scientists in each country is important.

According to the BBC, the comments are ‘overwhelmingly designed’ to be ‘constructive’.

But the submissions reportedly contain comments lobbying for issues important to officials’ respective countries.

According to the BBC, one comment from Australian officials rejects a draft conclusion in the report that closing coal-fired power plants is necessary.

Australia is a major coal exporter, shipping the fossil fuel to the likes of Japan, China and South Korea. 

It comes as Boris Johnson‘s big COP26 moment suffered another blow yesterday as Vladimir Putin confirmed he is snubbing the summit.

The Kremlin said the Russian president will not be attending the gathering in Glasgow at the end of the month.

It comes after China’s Xi Jinping made clear he is not intending to travel to the UN event, heightening fears that the summit will fail to make significant progress in the fight against climate change.

Although both countries are expected to send delegations, the presence of national leaders is seen as crucial to add impetus to the process.

Mr Johnson has insisted he is hoping for a ‘good’ turnout in Glasgow, but pointed to the pandemic as a factor.    

The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin (left) will not be attending the gathering in Glasgow at the end of the month. China's Xi Jinping (right) is also not expected to go

The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin (left) will not be attending the gathering in Glasgow at the end of the month. China’s Xi Jinping (right) is also not expected to go

Boris Johnson has insisted he is hoping for a 'good' turnout in Glasgow, but pointed to the pandemic as a factor

Boris Johnson has insisted he is hoping for a ‘good’ turnout in Glasgow, but pointed to the pandemic as a factor

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Covid situation was preventing Mr Putin from travelling.

‘He will also not fly to Glasgow, unfortunately,’ the spokesman said. ‘We need to work out in what format it will be possible to speak via video conference, at what moment

‘The issues that will be discussed in Glasgow right now form one of the priorities of our foreign policy.’ 

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro have also not committed to attending. 

Who is coming to the COP26 summit? 

Even the Queen has been publicly complaining that she does not know who is coming to the big UN climate summit in Glasgow.   

CONFIRMED OR LIKELY

US president Joe Biden

Australian PM Scott Morrison

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett 

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan 

French president Emmanuel Macron 

Italian PM Mario Draghi 

Colombian president Ivan Duque

Swedish PM Stefan Lofven

Swiss President Guy Parmelin

South Korean President Moon Jae-in 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

OUT OR DOUBTFUL 

Chinese president Xi Jinping

Russian president Vladimir Putin 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

Japanese PM Fumio Kishida 

Pope Francis 

US President Joe Biden confirmed only last week that he will be there, and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is coming despite initial doubts. 

If China does not commit to new action, the prospect of keeping global warming to 1.5C could well be scuppered. The country is responsible for 27 per cent of global carbon emissions.

Even the Queen has been unable to conceal her frustration at the vague guest list for COP26. 

Caught on microphone while attending the opening of the Welsh parliament in Cardiff last week, the monarch said: ‘Extraordinary isn’t it… I’ve been hearing all about Cop… still don’t know who is coming… no idea.

‘We only know about people who are not coming… It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.’

Mr Johnson vowed to make Britain the ‘Qatar of hydrogen’ today as he wooed businesses chiefs including Bill Gates at a glitzy pre-COP26 summit – urging them to invest ‘trillions’ in tackling climate change.

The PM gave a speech and chatted to the Microsoft billionaire on stage at the Science Museum as he asked industry leaders to commit funding to decarbonising the world economy – insisting ‘green is good, green is right’.

He said the UK had a responsibility to act on cutting emissions as ‘we were the first to knit the deadly tea cosy of CO2’ – pointing to the ‘big bets’ the government is making on electric vehicles and gigafactories for battery production.

Mr Johnson also played down concerns that the looming COP26 summit in Glasgow will be a failure, saying he is hoping for a ‘good turnout’ of world leaders despite expected snubs from China and Russia.  

He said there were $24trillion represented in the room at the Science Museum conference London. 

‘I can deploy billions – with the approval of the Chancellor, obviously – but you in this room, you can deploy trillions,’ he said.

‘I want to say to each and every one of those dollars, you are very welcome to the UK and you have come to the right place at the right time.’

He said hydrogen would be a significant part of the solution to replacing fossil fuels. ‘To drive a digger or a truck or to hurl a massive passenger plane down a runway, you need what Jeremy Clarkson used to call ”grunt” – I think there may be a technical term for it – but ”grunt”.

‘Hydrogen provides that grunt, so we are making big bets on hydrogen, we are making bets on solar and hydro, and, yes – of course – on nuclear as well, for our baseload.’  

Queen, 95, ‘is still set to host world leaders at Cop26 in Glasgow’ after ‘reluctantly’ cancelling Northern Ireland trip 

The Queen is still expected to meet world leaders at the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow despite cancelling a trip to Northern Ireland after she ‘reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days’.

The 95-year-old monarch – who has been seen using a walking stick at engagements over the past week – is said to be in good spirits but disappointed not to be able to carry out the two-day trip, which was due to begin today.

The Queen has had a busy few days and hosted a major global investment summit at Windsor Castle yesterday evening. She also had engagements last week at the Welsh Senedd in Cardiff and Westminster Abbey in London. 

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was among the guests invited to the Queen's Berkshire home on Wednesday evening

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was among the guests invited to the Queen’s Berkshire home on Wednesday evening

The Queen is now resting at Windsor Castle and is still expected at this stage to host a reception in Scotland on November 1 for the Cop26 conference, although it is likely a view will be taken on this nearer the time.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement issued shortly after 11am this morning: ‘The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days. 

‘Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow. The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future.’

A royal source said there was ‘no cause for caution’ about the Queen’s health – and her decision is understood not to be related to coronavirus. Her condition has not been revealed.

The Queen is double-vaccinated, having been given her first jab by a household doctor at Windsor Castle on January 9 and her second at the end of March ahead of what was her first public appearance in five months.

Buckingham Palace would not comment on whether the head of state had received her booster Covid-19 jab, but given her age it is likely she has already had it. 

Today’s news follows reports over the weekend in Vanity Fair that the Queen had been told to stop drinking alcohol by royal doctors, who were said to have advised her to forgo a drink except for special occasions.  

The Queen carried out 136 engagements in person or via videolink over 130 days last year despite the pandemic, with only Princess Anne (148 over 145 days) and Prince Charles (146 over 141 days) completing more. 

Prince Charles continued to work today - as he made Mary Berry a Dame Commander during an investiture at Windsor Castle

Prince Charles continued to work today – as he made Mary Berry a Dame Commander during an investiture at Windsor Castle

Yesterday, it was revealed the Queen had turned down the Oldie of the Year trophy because she feels she does not meet the criteria, believing ‘you are only as old as you feel’.

The Queen, who is just five years away from her 100th birthday, is due to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne – next year.

She still keeps a busy diary of events and audiences and deals with her daily red boxes of official papers. 

Since she returned to Windsor from her summer break at Balmoral, the Queen has carried out 15 engagements, listed in the Court Circular, including her audiences, plus an additional trip to Ascot.


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