AS IT HAPPENED: World leaders upgrade climate commitments on Paris anniversary


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Headlines:

  • China announced incremental strengthening of 2030 climate targets
  • Pakistan will stop building coal power plants
  • UK will stop financing fossil fuel projects abroad
  • Canada will raise carbon taxes to C$170 by 2030
  • Barbados is aiming to become fossil fuel free by 2030
  • Colombia will cut emissions 51% from business as usual in 2030
  • Germany announced an additional €500 million in climate finance
  • Italy pledged €30 million to the Adaptation Fund

 

20:26 GMT – Time to wrap up. These summits are a bit strange at the best of times: a procession of speeches and a scramble to figure out what is new and meaningful. Under pandemic conditions, we do not even have the benefit of being in the same space to ask questions and compare notes.

From my home desk in London, the mood feels hopeful but far from triumphant. There were enough recent and new developments to show renewed momentum behind the UN climate process, but far from enough to secure a safe climate.

Imran Khan’s announcement Pakistan will stop building coal plants stands out. The country had several in planning, backed by China as part of the belt and road initiative. Switching to clean energy instead could provide a model for others in China’s orbit – and China itself, which still skirts around the issue in its talk of “carbon intensity” and “non-fossil fuel energy”.

Some of the highest ambition comes from the most vulnerable countries, which will need financial support to see them through. There was far too little new money on the table.

We will be following the key stories and developments through 2021 and beyond. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date. For now, good evening.


 

19:57 GMT – Alok Sharma, president-designate of Cop26, next year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, sums up in a live speech.

Today 45 leaders announced new 2030 climate plans, 24 committed to net zero emissions goals and 20 talked about strengthened adaptation plans, he says.

The summit has shown “real progress” but it does not put the world on track to meet the 1.5C warming limit. “As encouraging as all this ambition is, it is not enough,” says Sharma.

He sets out four goals for Cop26:

  1. A “step change” in mitigation. The world must halve emissions this decade on a path to net zero. Countries need to bring stronger 2030 targets and long-term strategies.
  2. To strengthen adaptation. Hails women’s leadership in boosting resilience and early warning systems to prevent deaths from climate disaster.
  3. Getting finance flowing. UK has doubled climate finance to £11.6 billion. He urges other wealthy governments to do the same. There is a nod to relieving the debt burden on poorer countries and mobilising private finance.
  4. Enhancing international collaboration.

“This is a fight for the very survival of our fragile planet,” says Sharma. The world faces a “tidal wave of climate catastrophe… The power to hold back that wave rests entirely with us.”


 

19:34 GMT – We are getting to the closing speeches now.

Laurent Fabius, the French former foreign minister who steered Paris to an agreement, waves his Cop21-branded gavel as a souvenir.

“We must keep pushing to fill the gap before Glasgow,” says Carolina Schmidt, the Chilean minister in charge of UN talks last year, touting the “race to zero” movement in the private sector.

Nisreen Elsaim, a youth advisor to the UN secretary general, talks about accountability. The moderator introduces her by asking: “How do we give marginalised people a voice?” Elsaim responds: “The question is not how to give them a voice, the question is why do we still have marginalised people?” Zing.

“Finance is particularly important” to make Cop26 a success, says UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa.


 

19:23 GMT – Correction: It looks like Japan’s climate finance pledge is not new. The prime minister says they are contributing $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund. That would be the $1.5bn pledged last year plus an initial $1.5bn. Thanks to Sven Harmeling for the feedback.

And the wonks say Germany’s “additional” €500m is at least partly covered by its existing €4bn/year pledge.


 

18:12 GMT – The speeches are still going on – we’re onto Ireland – but a couple of NGOs have already delivered their verdicts.

Oxfam’s Tim Gore says:  “The Climate Ambition Summit lacked real ambition. World leaders must step up in the next 12 critical months to pull the world back from the brink of catastrophic climate change.”

Near-term carbon cuts are inadequate to hold global warming to 1.5C, he says, and the summit was “all but silent” on new money for poorer countries. Gore singled out Emmanuel Macron for saying France would maintain its current level of climate finance in the coming years. “Communities in developing countries deserve better and need more.”

Christian Aid’s Kat Kramer was slightly more upbeat, noting “it’s significant to see that, despite Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine it, there remains so many other heads of state that want to step up and take action to address the climate crisis”.

She focused her criticism on the no-shows, saying: “It’s shameful that major fossil fuel-producing countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Australia have so far failed to come forward with new pledges and risk catastrophe for themselves and vulnerable communities around the world. With countries both rich and poor committing to new climate plans these rich polluters have no excuse to continue to bury their heads in the sand.”


 

17:58 GMT – Austria and Slovakia pledged new money to the Green Climate Fund of €100 million and €2 million respectively.

The GCF, a UN-backed fund, had an official replenishment drive last year but with Donald Trump’s US refusing to contribute, raised just $9.8 billion, less than the $10.3bn it first launched with.

US president-elect Joe Biden has promised to fulfil an unmet $2bn pledge to the GCF, potentially reviving its central role in delivering climate finance.


 

17:39 GMT – A couple of clarifications on the climate finance commitments.

Japan’s $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund is new and double the $1.5bn previously delivered.

Germany’s additional €500 million is to facilitate “access to affordable capital” for climate investments in developing countries. Environment minister Svenja Schulze separately announced that €50 million would go to the Adaptation Fund and €100m to the NAMA facility which helps developing countries cut emissions. Germany maintains its commitment to double international climate finance to €4bn a year from 2020.

Angela Merkel also proposed to launch an international process for post-2020 finance before Cop26. How much money rich countries should provide and how it should be channeled will be a contentious topic in negotiations next year.


 

17:14 GMT – Malawi’s President talks about their carbon levy on fuel, work on restoring forests and replacing diesel generators with solar power. He says they’re heading towards carbon neutrality by 2050.

Spain’s Pedro Spanchez says 97% of its energy in 2050 will be renewable. In 2030, he forecasts five million electric vehicles will be on its roads and almost all air conditioning will be renewable. He talks up the government’s ‘just transition’ strategy, particularly for coal mining communities.

The Kiribati president says his islands are “doing our part” to reduce emissions despite being a developing country and a small island. The Pacific nation is highly vulnerable to climate change.

Niger’s president says the NDC process is underway and they may scale up their unconditional commitment to greenhouse gas reductions from 3.5% to 5% by 2030. 

Grenada’s prime minister welcomes the UK’s new 2030 target. He says it’s “no secret” that small islands are facing the worst of climate change and calls for ambition so that countries like his have a “fighting chance”. He echoes Kiribati’s president in saying he wants to “play his part”.

Laos’ prime minister says the southeast Asian nation’s main emitter is agriculture. They will submit their updated NDC soon. He pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2030 from 2020 levels.


 

16:57 GMT – Singapore’s PM says climate change is particularly a problem for small island states like Singapore and promoted his country’s policies like the combustion engine vehicles phase-out by 2040.

Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame says nature-based solutions offer the best return on investment and mentions clean cooling.

Nauru’s president says climate change is a threat to their existence. Their NDC is being finalised and will be submitted this month. Their goal is net zero by 2050 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. This is conditional on support.

The mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti speaks on behalf of the C40 Cities and says the Paris Agreement’s consequences play out in cities. Their new campaign is the ‘cities race to zero’. They’re looking for 1,000 cities and 70 have signed up already.

Josefina Belmonte, the mayor of Quezon City in the Philippines adds they are reclaiming streets from cars and investing in urban agriculture and investing in parks and gardens.

16:40 GMT – The most significant announcements were frontloaded, so let’s take a breath and review.

China revealed details of its new 2030 climate targets. These are marginally stronger than what was previously pledged but not a significant acceleration of efforts, according to analyst Lauri Myllyvirta.

Carbon intensity has been confirmed at the more ambitious end of the 60-65% range previously promised. Nuclear and renewables will provide 25% of electricity, up from 20%. Wind and solar power capacity target of 1200GW is nearly triple the previous 415GW goal, reflecting current trends.

Li Shuo of Greenpeace agreed these were incremental improvements and China could be pushed to do more with international engagement in 2021.


 

16:31 – Fiji’s leader says he will soon pass a “ground-breaking” climate change bill and will reduce emissions in its waste sector.

Jamaica’s PM Andrew Holness says they will complete a long-term low carbon strategy in 2021 and aim for net zero by 2050. He quotes Usain Bolt: “The difference between the possible and impossible lies in determination.”

Peru’s President says they will increase ambition from 30% to 40% emissions reductions by 2030. This will be reflected in the updated NDC. They will finalise a national adaptation plan and update their national climate change strategy.

Denmark’s leader says they’re reducing greenhouse emissions by 70% by 2030 through a legally-binding target. Building the world’s first giant offshore energy island and have doubled green research funding. “We need the EU and the rest of the world to follow”, she says, adding Denmark is keen to share its expertise on renewable energy.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel’s scientists will work on solar power and, through co-operation with the UAE and Bahrain on the energy transition, promote Arab-Israeli peace.

16:19 GMT – The speeches are coming thick and fast.

Finland hopes to reach net zero emissions by 2035. Ethiopia has planted 9 million of a planned 20 million trees over four years. South Korea promises a stronger 2030 climate plan in line with its 2050 net zero target. Gabon is expanding mangrove protection and aiming for 85% renewable electricity by 2030.

Germany pledges €500 million of climate finance. Finally, some new money.

https://twitter.com/JohnMurton/status/1337793447420452865

If you need to catch up later, the leaders’ statements are available on demand here.


 

16:03 GMTBhutan’s prime minister Lotay Tshering: “Mother Earth has a fever” and the Paris Agreement is the cure.

The well-forested Himalayan nation is already carbon negative and calls for concrete and greater commitments from bigger emitters.


16:02 GMT – Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez says his country has paid a high price for climate change. He says developed countries need to pledge more climate finance. 

Argentina will present a tougher 2030 climate plan and aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.


 

15:51 GMT – Yoshihide Suga, prime minister of Japan, says the country has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

He says Japan will present a new enhanced climate plan ahead of Cop26 next year. 

He committed public and private climate finance to the tune of 1.3tn yen ($11.8bn) and committed $3bn to the Green Climate Fund.


15:49 GMT – Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, claims to be a leader in adapting to climate impacts. The country invests billions of dollars each year in boosting resilience to flooding, storms and sea level rise.

As chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, she highlights the Midnight Climate Survival campaign to get new 2030 national climate targets submitted by the end of the year.

She calls on developed countries to provide “predictable and promised mitigation measures, along with climate finance”.


 

15:45 GMT – Canada’s Justin Trudeau is not increasing the 2030 target but introducing stronger policy to get there.

On Friday, he announced a significant hike on the price polluters will need to pay to deliver on his election promise to “exceed” the country’s plan to cut emissions 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. 

The price for emitting a tonne of CO2 will increase by C$15 per tonne per year from 2023, reaching C$170 per tonne by 2030. This would more than triple the cost of polluting which is due to reach C$50 per tonne by 2022. 

The government said it would spend C$15.2bn in climate investments to meet the goal. 

“The world is moving. We need a plan that gets Canada ahead because without it we will fall behind,” Trudeau told reporters. 

He promised to lay out “new, more ambitious targets for the coming years,” adding that greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 32-40% below 2005 levels by 2030. 

Last month, Trudeau’s government presented a bill to enshrine the country’s 2050 net zero goal into law and set five-yearly targets from 2030. 

“We remain committed to make significant investments in climate finance,” he says, but gives no further details. 


15:35 GMT – Pope Francis has committed to cut the Vatican’s emissions to net zero before 2050. 


 

15:36 GMT – Pakistan’s leader Imran Khan says he wants nature-based solutions like planting trees and increasing the number of national parks. He says the country will plant 10 million trees in the next three years. 

He says there will be no new coal-fired power plants in Pakistan! COP26 President Alok Sharma welcomed the news.

By 2030, 60% of the country’s power sector will be running on clean energy from renewables. And 30% of all vehicles will be running on electricity.


 

15:30 GMTColombian President Ivan Duque says Colombia represents 0.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate impacts. That’s why Colombia wants to play a leadership role, he says.

By 2030, Colombia will reduce its emissions by 51% compared to business as usual. This is a huge jump from the previous NDC which was a 20% of emissions reduction compared with business as usual by 2030.

Duque said the country will plant 180 million trees and has already planted in excess of 50 million trees this year. 


15:25 GMT – Prime minister Narendra Modi says India is on track to not only meet its climate targets but exceed them.

The country’s carbon intensity has reduced by 21% since 2005. It has installed 36GW of solar power and has the fourth largest renewable capacity in the world.

Modi reiterates pledges to increase renewable capacity to 175GW by 2022 and 450GW by 2030.

He touts the Indian-led International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Looking ahead to 2047, the 100th anniversary of Indian independence, he says: “Centennial India will not only meet its own targets but will also exceed your expectations.”

No new pledges there, instead a reminder to more developed countries of their historic responsibility: “We must also not lose sight of the past”.


 

15:27 GMT – Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta says the countries will cut emissions 32% from a business as usual baseline by 2030 – up from 30% currently. 

He says Kenya will cover 20% of the $62m needed from domestic resources,

He adds that Kenya has commenced the process of developing its long-term decarbonisation strategy – being one of the first African nations to do so.


 

15:22 GMT – Mia Mottley from Barbados says other countries level of ambition will determine her island’s fate. She says she’d like to believe nations like hers are “not dispensable”.

In a record-breaking hurricane season, the 30th named storm has recently ripped through Latin America. Many countries like hers are struggling with debt after coronavirus.

She says Barbados will become fossil-fuel free and carbon neutral by 2030. 

“By 2030, most Barbadians will have solar panels on their roof and an electric vehicle in their garage,” she says.


 

15:19 GMT – In a very short message, EU Council president Charles Michel says multilateral co-operation is key. 

EU Commission chair Ursula Von der Leyen takes over. She says the EU has boosted renewable energy and taken other measures but “this isn’t a task for Europe alone” as Europe only accounts for less than 10% of global emissions.

She says EU leaders have agreed to cut emissions by at least 55% between 1990 and 2030. “55% is Europe’s contribution on the road to Glasgow. Let’s walk this road together,” she adds.


 

15:16 GMT – Chinese president Xi Jinping speaks now. During a UN summit in September, Xi took the world by surprise by announcing China would aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

The key question is how that translates into action over the next decade. Many Chinese provinces are still building coal power plants, which have no place in a net zero economy.

“We need to raise ambition and foster a new architecture for climate governance,” says Xi. In a dig at the US, he adds: “In meeting the challenge, nobody can be aloof. Unilateralism will get us nowhere.”

He repeats his September announcement to peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Further details: By 2030, China will cut the carbon intensity of its GDP by over 65% from 2005 levels. It will increase the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 25%, with 1.2 billion kW of installed wind and solar power. Forest volume will be increased by 6 billion cubic metres from 2005 levels.

“China always honours its commitments,” says Xi.


 


15:00 GMTSelina Neirok Leem, a campaigner from the rapidly-sinking Marshall Islands is up now.

She spoke in Paris after the deal was done as an 18-year-old, alongside Marshallese statesman Tony de Brum, who has since died.

De Brum mobilised a high ambition coalition to get a 1.5C warming limit in the text, strengthening the previous norm of 2C.

In a nod to that, Leem says “I celebrate the Paris Agreement, because our predecessors fought hard to get our 1.5C lifeline in it”, but says much more needs to be done to put it into action.


14:46 GMT – Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister speaks next. Italy is the current host of the G20 and will host a youth event and pre-COP summit in Milan.

Despite our efforts since Paris, the world continues to face rising emissions, he says. 

Countries have the opportunity to “build back greener and better” to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, he says. 

He says Italy will use its “special responsibility” to enable an ambitious outcome to Cop26. Italy is expected to use the G20 forum to make progress on a number of climate issues. The Cop26 host UK is convening the G7 summit, creating an opportunity to use discussions among major economies to move the dial on climate action. 

“We stand firm in our commitment to deliver $100bn by 2020 for developing economies.” 

Conte announces a €30 million pledge to the Adaptation Fund, which supports vulnerable communities in preparing for the impacts of climate change.

 

 

14:46 GMT – Sebastián Piñera Echenique, Chilean president, joins live from Santiago alongside Colombian president Iván Duque Márquez.

“Now is the time to act,” Piñera says “and bring back to life the spirit of the Paris Agreement”. 

“Today we need again this political will with fresh climate ambition.” 

Chile presided over last year’s UN climate summit, but it was moved from Santiago to Madrid at the last minute due to public protests against inequality.

He says Chile launched the Climate Neutral Alliance last year and is committed to the Race to Zero campaign. He adds Chile enhanced its 2030 climate plan this year in which it committed to peaking emissions by 2025

He calls on all countries to set net zero goals. “We need to make the 21st century the century of carbon neutrality and renewable energy,” he says. 

He finishes by saying “our generation has a duty to future generations”. 


 

14:43 GMT – Mary Kinyua from the Faitrade International Board speaks next. She says coffee, cocoa and other crops in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua have been devastated by intense hurricanes this year.

Farmers are struggling to make a living, she says.


 

14:35 GMT Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister speaks next. Italy is the current host of the G20 and will host a youth event and pre-COP summit in Milan.

Despite our efforts since Paris, the world continues to face rising emissions, he says. 

Countries have the opportunity to “build back greener and better” to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, he says. 

He says Italy will use its “special responsibility” to enable an ambitious outcome to Cop26. Italy is expected to use the G20 forum to make progress on a number of climate issues. The Cop26 host UK is convening the G7 summit, creating an opportunity to use discussions among major economies to move the dial on climate action. 

“We stand firm in our commitment to deliver $100bn by 2020 for developing economies.” 

Conte announces a €30 million pledge to the Adaptation Fund, which supports vulnerable communities in preparing for the impacts of climate change.


 

14.40 GMT – Next up is French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron hints that Chinese president Xi Jinping will make an important announcement later in the summit. 

Macron says that all companies floated on the Paris stock exchange, known as the CAC40, must disclose their climate risk in their financial disclosures from 2021. 

Macron adds that countries need to put the fight against inequality at the core of their plans. 

No French guarantee will be given to oilfields, he says.

“We must all increase our objectives for 2030, much as the European countries have done” and work towards net zero emissions, he says.


 

A tea cosy. Good for keeping your tea pot warm, not what you want on the planet


 

14:32 GMT – Archana Soreng, an indigenous youth representative, tells world leaders young people “bear the brunt of the climate crisis”. 

“It is important we create meaningful spaces in the climate dialogue for youth,” she says, “especially for marginalised communities”.


 

14:26 GMT – The second speaker is UK prime minister Boris Johnson. In his typical idiom, which may confuse non-British viewers, he describes a “toxic tea cosy of greenhouse gases”.

“We want to turn the UK into the Saudi Arabia of wind,” he says, touting the UK’s new 2030 emissions target of a 68% reduction from 1990 levels.

“Let’s do it together, let’s make it our collective commitment to get to net zero by 2050. And we in the UK are going to do our bit,” he says.

Johnson’s key announcement is an end to public finance for fossil fuel projects abroad.

Earlier this year, the UK came under criticism for backing a $20 billion gas project in Mozambique.

The policy will end support for the extraction, production, transportation and refining of crude oil, natural gas or thermal coal, but exceptions will be made for some gas-fired power plants. It will apply across the UK’s export credit agency, aid funding and trade promotion activities.

A government press release on Friday evening said the policy would come into force “as soon as possible” following a short consultation ending in February 2021 and before Cop26. 

UK Export Finance currently has seven oil and gas projects under consideration

The move comes after the UK announced it would cut emissions 68% between 1990 and 2030 it’s first solo contribution to the Paris Agreement post Brexit.  

Johnson is pledging £10m to a multilateral Green Recovery Initiative, designed to support developing countries to build back better. Last year, the UK announced a doubling of its international climate finance over 2021-25.


 

14:21 GMT – Guterres says the transition must be just and “recognize that women’s leadership is good for climate action”. Earlier this week, more than 400 women signed a letter denouncing the lack of women in the UK leadership team set to steer the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow next year. 

“It is incomprehensible that half the planet is not represented in the senior leadership team where the framing, narrative, issues and content for COP26 will be decided,” they wrote. 

Guterres insists that donor countries must meet their commitment to provide $100bn in climate finance to support developing countries cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts.

A recent Oxfam analysis found most of climate finance took the form of loans, adding to the burden of vulnerable nations’ ballooning debt. He also called for more finance to go towards adaptation – a key demand of vulnerable countries.


 

14.16 GMT – After a motivational video, the first speaker is UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking first in English then in French from New York. “We are still not going in the right direction,” he says. In Paris, the world promised to keep warming as close to 1.5C as possible. But “the commitments made in Paris were far from enough to get there. And even those commitments are not being met,” he says, adding the world is on course for 3C of warming.  

Guterres calls on all countries to declare a climate emergency. So far, 38 countries have done so. He doesn’t name names but big countries to do so include most of Europe, Canada, Argentina, Bangladesh and, most recently, New Zealand. 

He says it is “unacceptable” that the G20 are spending 50% more in their stimulus and rescue packages on sectors linked to fossil fuel production and consumption, than on low-carbon energy. 

He says governments’ climate plans should reflect the need to get global emissions down by 45% by 2030. 

He “commends” the leaders who are putting forward new targets today for 2025 and 2030, singling out the UK and EU for praise. The UK has pledged to cut emissions by 68% (1990-2030) and the EU (after a lot of debate) has pledged 55% in the same period.

Guterres says every country, city, financial institution and company needs to make plans to reach net zero by 2050. You can see who has made net zero pledges here.


 

13:59 GMT – Ahead of the main action, key figures in the climate world have been reflecting on what the anniversary means.

In a statement, UN Climate Change head Patricia Espinosa described the Paris accord as “a covenant of hope… that will help to move our current trajectory to a better destiny”.

Three of her predecessors wrote in Climate Policy Journal. International climate negotiations have successfully yielded three landmark treaties, say Michael Zammit Cutajar, Yvo de Boer and Christiana Figueres. The “principal shortcoming is failure by governments to fully implement treaty obligations, exacerbated by the still inadequate response of the business community”. Well, quite. Now the focus must be on implementation.

Architect of the Paris Agreement Laurence Tubiana, said in a tweet:  

The chair of the Least Developed Countries said:

13:48 GMT – In a statement ahead of the summit, US president-elect Joe Biden reaffirmed he would rejoin the Paris Agreement in his first day in office and convene a climate summit of major economies in his first 100 days.

“Over the last four years, the world has lost that momentum, and nations and people in every part of the world are feeling the devastating impacts of a changing climate. We haven’t come close to the bold action that’s needed, and today, we have no time to waste,” he wrote.

Biden said he was “grateful” to leaders around the world who remained committed to the Paris goals over the past four years. Under this administration, “America will be back working with our partners around the world to ensure we realize those goals for the sake of our families and future generations,” he said.


 

13:30 GMT – Good afternoon and joyeux anniversaire to the Paris Agreement, which was finalised five years ago. If you’re feeling nostalgic, dip into our live blog of that historic day.

As we reflected earlier in the week, the pact has survived Donald Trump’s US presidency and normalised net zero emissions goals. But the gap between global emissions and the goal of holding temperature rise “well below” 2C is still growing, while people suffer from increasingly intense and frequent climate disasters.

Paris set in motion a five-year cycle to “ratchet up” ambition. Today is a moment of truth. At an online summit starting in half an hour, more than 70 national leaders are expected to announce new climate commitments.

First will be scene-setting speeches from the UN, France and UK, who co-organised the summit, together with partners Chile and Italy. Youth and indigenous voices will also feature.

Then will come a flurry of two-minute videos from heads of government. Organisers invited every national leader to send a message – but stipulated only those showing genuine progress would be guaranteed a platform. Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa were among those who didn’t make the grade.

China, India, the EU, Japan and Canada are on the speaker list, to be interspersed with civil society representatives on everything from slum dwelling to car rental services. Joe Biden cannot represent the US on the world stage before his inauguration as president, so look out for state governors instead.

Stay with us as we capture the key announcements, instant analysis and reaction.