‘Everything is at stake’ as world gathers for climate talks

World leaders are about to gather in Scotland to try to get global warming under more control. Two weeks of intense climate change negotiations start Sunday, and some leaders say humanity’s future is at stake. The risk of failure looms large. None of the United Nations’ three goals for success in the Glasgow negotiations is on track.

Those goals include a 45% cut in carbon emissions and a commitment from rich nations to give poorer countries $100 billion a year to cope with climate change.

Half of that amount must be aimed at adapting to the worst effects of climate change.

Pope Francis is issuing an urgent appeal to world leaders ahead of the U.N. climate conference to take “radical decisions” to protect the environment and prioritize the common good. Francis delivered the “Thought for the Day” on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s morning radio program Friday ahead of the Sunday start of the climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

In the message, Francis urged political leaders not to waste the opportunity created by the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic to change course. He urged them to chart a future based on a sense of shared responsibility for a common destiny.

Francis has made caring for God’s Creation one of the hallmarks of his papacy.

Meanwhile, protesters have taken to the streets of London’s historic financial district to lobby against the use of fossil fuels ahead of the start of the U.N. climate summit. The protests are part of a worldwide day of action before leaders begin the U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, on Sunday.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was one of many young activists from around the world to join the demonstrations.

Many environmentalists are calling the Oct. 31-Nov. 12 climate meeting the world’s last chance to turn the tide in the battle against climate change. Landmarks targeted in London include Lloyd’s of London insurance, the Bank of England and international banks Standard Chartered and Barclays.