COP26 Memorable quotes from global climate change conference

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

GLASGOW, Scotland — Global leaders have gathered at the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, to discuss urgent action to combat a rapidly warming world.


“The people who will judge us are children not yet born and their children, and we are now coming center stage before a vast and uncountable audience of posterity, and we must not fluff our lines or miss our cue, because if we fail they will not forgive us.”

— U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson


“There’s no more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue amongst ourselves. This is a challenge of our collective lifetimes. The existential threat, threat to human existence as we know it, and every day we delay the cost of inaction increases. So let this be the moment that we answer history’s call here in Glasgow.”

—U.S. President Joe Biden


“Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us. It’s time to say: enough. … Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.”

— U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres


“We do not want that dreaded death sentence, and we’ve come here today to say: ‘Try harder, try harder.’”

— Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley


“We are already gasping for survival. Tomorrow is not an option, for it will be too late.”

— Seychelles President Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan


“The decisions you make here will help determine whether children will have food and water.”

— Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti


“Change is not going to come from inside there — that is not leadership, this is leadership. We say no more ‘blah blah blah,’ no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet.”

— Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg


“We are disappointed that others feel we still have time.”

— Lesotho Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro


“It is often those who can’t access the models of development that caused this climate change that are living through its first consequences. Small islands, vulnerable territories, Indigenous people are the first victims of the consequences of climate disturbances.”

— French President Emmanuel Macron


“We are, after all, the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on Earth. If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet. Surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.”

— veteran British broadcaster and documentary maker David Attenborough


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