Sadiq Khan – 2021 Comments on COP26

The comments made by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, on 11 November 2021.

For years, climate change deniers have attempted to thwart climate action. But today the biggest obstacle to reducing our carbon emissions isn’t the climate change deniers, it’s the delayers. It’s the national governments that can talk a good game, but then refuse to put in place the plans, action or funding we desperately need.

Unfortunately, we have seen yet more examples of this at COP26. So my message to the UK government and other nation states and businesses around the world is that these delaying tactics must stop. The time for empty rhetoric and hollow gestures is over. We need urgent action now – not in 20 or 30 years’ time.

When you compare national governments to cities over recent years, the difference when it comes to taking bold climate action is striking. It’s night versus day. It’s the difference between delayers versus doers.

Compared to the slow nature of national governments, it’s our cities that have proven to be more nimble, progressive and responsive to the needs of our citizens, rising to the challenge.

As Mayor, I’m determined to continue leading this charge and for London to become the greenest city in the world – driving green innovation and jobs as well as pioneering the solutions to decarbonise our transport system and economy. As the new Chair of C40, I want to help other cities do the same, working together to unleash the power and potential that cities have to make a meaningful difference in this fight for our future.