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COP26: the natural world is in terrible decline, it's time to turn tragedy into triumph

2 minute read

Victoria Riglen, Head of Communications and Campaigns

1 Nov 2021

Day one of COP26 was a day of headline-grabbing speeches and high profile politicians, who are all in Glasgow for the first two days of the conference to get climate discussions underway.

COP26 has ended. Find out the what were the biggest COP26 outcomes

Representatives from the Marine Conservation Society are attending the conference for the next two weeks, ensuring world leaders and decision makers #ListenToTheOcean. We can’t fight the climate crisis without a healthy ocean.

COP26 began with historic speeches

COP26 has kicked off in Glasgow with rousing speeches and impassioned pleas for the world to take urgent action to tackle the devastating damage that is being inflicted on our natural world. Prince Charles, who is the President of the Marine Conservation Society, was among those who spoke.

Sir David Attenborough set the bar high with a moving speech urging delegates to “rewrite our story to turn this tragedy into a triumph”.

The iconic broadcaster referenced the “terrible decline” he has witnessed of the natural world in his lifetime, with a call to action to world leaders – “In [your lifetime] you could and should witness a wonderful recovery. That desperate hope is why the world is looking to you…and why you are here.”

We need to rewrite our story to turn this tragedy into a triumph

Sir David Attenborough

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed world leaders, warning “If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.” While the Prime Minister paid mention to nature in his speech, he made no reference to the ocean. The Marine Conservation Society is attending the conference to demand that those present ensure that the ocean is on the agenda, as a vital tool against climate change.

If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

The Prince of Wales and Marine Conservation Society President, also took to the stage calling for urgent action on climate: “So ladies and gentlemen, my plea today is for countries to come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required.”

Prince Charles said the strength of the “global private sector” was greater than governments and represented the only “real prospect” of fundamental change.

HRH The Prince of Wales Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales, President of the Marine Conservation Society

The ocean must be on the agenda at COP26

These headline-grabbing speeches set the agenda for the next two weeks, but as always, the devil is in the detail – how will world leaders commit to addressing and fighting the climate crisis?

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