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'Doomsday clock' ticks as leaders meet on climate

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BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON: “It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock, and we need to act now.”

A crucial U.N. conference on climate change opened in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday with world leaders, environmental experts and activists pleading for decisive action to halt global warming, which threatens the future of the planet.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the crowd at the COP26 summit that time is running out.

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

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world’s addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink.

“Enough of treating nature like a toilet. [FLASH] We are digging our own graves.”

And U.S. President Joe Biden - despite appearing to nod off for a moment in the audience and arriving without securing a key piece of climate legislation he has been pushing – robustly assured the world that the U.S. would keep its promise to slash greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by the end of the decade.

“We'll demonstrate to the world the United States is not only back at the table but leading by the power of our example."

COP26 aims to keep alive a target of capping global warming at 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit - or 1.5 degrees Celsius - above pre-industrial levels… the limit scientists say would avoid its most destructive consequences.

To do that, it needs to secure more ambitious pledges to reduce emissions, lock in billions in climate financing for developing countries, and finish the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement.

But in Rome over the weekend, a meeting of the G20 failed to commit to the 2050 target to halt net carbon emissions, undermining one of COP26's main goals.

And outside the summit, 18-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg said the powerful leaders were just (quote) “pretending” to take the future of the planet seriously.

“Change is not going to come from inside there. That is not leadership. This is leadership.” [cheers]