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Cop26: Protests continue, world leaders promise to reduce methane emissions and Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at summit

It’s the second full day of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Here’s the main stories from the day so far.


World leaders pledge to reduce methane and deforestation

More than 80 countries have signed up to a global methane pledge, agreeing to cut emissions by 30% by the end of the decade.

Speaking at the conference today, President Biden, opened by thanking everyone who has signed this “game-changing commitment” on reducing methane emissions.

He says one of the most important things we can do is to keep 1.5 degrees in reach and reduce methane emissions “as quickly as possible”.

© PA
US President Joe Biden speaking at the Build Back Better event during the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.

Methane, he adds, has caused about half the warming we are experiencing today.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen – speaking in Glasgow with US President Joe Biden – said cutting back on methane emissions “is one of the most effective things we can do” to stick to a 1.5C rise in global average temperatures.

She added: “We cannot wait for 2050, we have to cut emissions fast.

“It is the lowest hanging fruit.”

The top sources of methane globally include agriculture, and leaks from oil and gas production and landfills.

Deforestation

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a global plan to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

Brazil – where huge stretches of the Amazon rainforest have been cut down – is among the signatories to the forest pledge.

However, Indigenous groups from the Amazon say they must be at the heart of the process for these promises to succeed.


Climate protests continue

On the second full day of the conference there have been more protests in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Climate demonstrators have targeted the offices of investment bankers JP Morgan in Glasgow’s city centre.

Around 200 Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting outside the Waterloo Street building.

JP Morgan Chase bank is the world’s number-one provider of finance to the fossil fuels industry.

© PA
Climate activists from the Red Rebel Brigade take part in a ‘Trillion Dollar Bash’ outside the offices of JP Morgan on Waterloo Street, Glasgow, calling out the bank’s continued profits from and investment into fossil fuel projects and contribution to the suffering caused by the climate crisis.

JP Morgan declined to comment on the protest.

An earlier demo took place outside the financier’s Edinburgh centre. The group unfurled banners and staff were handed leaflets as they arrived for work.

A protest themed on the Netflix show “Squid Game” took place at the Clyde Arc, near the conference venue.


Leonardo DiCaprio arrives for COP26

Leonardo DiCaprio has made an appearance at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The Hollywood star, 46, was pictured at the conference surrounded by an entourage and wearing a blue suit featuring a colourful lapel pin.

He has worked on a number of documentaries about animal poaching and the environment, and was appointed a United Nations representative on climate change in 2014.

Kew Science, the research arm of Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, said he had visited its Carbon Garden space, where scientists will be highlighting the role plants can play in providing solutions to climate change across Cop26.

DiCaprio, who describes himself as an actor and environmentalist on Instagram, updated his biography ahead of the event to include the hashtag #COP26.

He also added a link to the United Nations website page on climate change.

© Shutterstock Feed
Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the COP 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

In 2016, he was an executive producer on The Ivory Game, which examined the ivory trade.

Oscar-winning director Fisher Stevens also filmed DiCaprio as he travelled around the world to see the effects of global warming for the 2016 feature Before The Flood.