Brian Cox has expressed optimism about world leaders being ready to tackle climate change. Prof Cox insisted people appear to finally understand the importance of addressing the climate emergency “as they should have done decades ago”. More than 40 countries have this week committed to shifting away from coal at the COP26 climate summit.
Speaking to ITV Peston, Brian Cox said: “I mean, I’m not a climate expert, but what I am is a scientist.
“And what that makes me do is pay attention to the experts.
“And the experts that I know, say that we have a problem.
“We’re committed to something like a two-degree rise, which doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s highly problematic in terms of agriculture in certain parts of the world; population movement and so on.”
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He went on: “And we can mitigate those problems both through policy litigations and through aiming to reduce greenhouse emissions such that the peak temperature rise is within that range or perhaps lower.
“So it is our choice that there is no question that we can do it.
“And so I’m getting more optimistic.
“I’m getting more optimistic that people are now taking this as seriously as they should have been, probably decades ago.”
Countries including Poland and Chile are committing to shift away from coal at COP26.
However, China, the US and India, some of the world’s biggest coal-dependent countries, did not sign up for the pledge.
UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The end of coal is in sight.
“The world is moving in the right direction, standing ready to seal coal’s fate and embrace the environmental and economic benefits of building a future that is powered by clean energy.”
Coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change.
The deal came as part of a focus on energy for the fifth day of the Cop26 summit.
It follows a number of previous announcements earlier in the week, such as the pledge to halt deforestation by 2030.
Part of the UK’s strategy is to focus on “cash, coal, cars and trees”, which will produce key progress in tackling the climate crisis.