COP 26: Queen delivers stern warning to world leaders, urges action on climate crisis

Reuters
VideoQueen Elizabeth left well wishes for the political leaders at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, saying 'the time for words has now moved to the time for action.'

Queen Elizabeth II has told the United Nations climate change summit that “the time for words has now moved to the time for action”, as she urged world leaders to think of future generations when negotiating a deal to limit global warming.

The 95-year-old was due to attend the event in person in Glasgow but delivered a recorded video after doctors advised her to rest for two weeks.

“It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit - written in history books yet to be printed - will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations,” the world’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch said.

“That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.”

The Queen paid tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, who died aged 99 earlier this year. She remembered how he had warned an academic gathering in 1969 about the need to tackle the threats from pollution.

“If the world pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be that the situation will become increasingly intolerable within a very short time,” she quoted him as saying.

Conference members listen to the Queen’s video message.
Camera IconGLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II appears on a large screen makes a video message to attendees of an evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on November 1, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 2021 sees the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference. The conference will run from 31 October for two weeks, finishing on 12 November. It was meant to take place in 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali - Pool/Getty Images) Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen said she was particularly happy to welcome leaders to the summit because “the impact of the environment on human progress” was a subject close to his heart.

She said she “could not be more proud” that his work had been continued by her two closest heirs, Prince Charles and Prince William, who are attending the summit.

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