Norwegian premier on climate leadership: 'I choose to be hopeful'

Contributing to climate efforts should be 'responsibility of all leaders,' says Gahr Stoere on Russia, China skipping COP26.

Norwegian premier on climate leadership: 'I choose to be hopeful'

As world leaders are put to the test on Monday at the ongoing UN climate conference in Glasgow (COP26), Norway's premier struck a hopeful tone for the planet's future as "the alternative is very bad."

"I think we know what it takes. It takes continued commitment to take down emissions," Jonas Gahr Stoere told Anadolu Agency during a press appearance at the COP26 venue.

"It takes a willingness to protect the forests to reduce methane, to help fund developing countries, that they can make their transition without going for coal, but to go for renewables," he said, signaling his country's ambition on reducing emissions.

"We come to this conference with a will and an ambition," underlined Gahr Stoere, arguing that achieving all these climate goals would be possible.

According to the International Energy Agency, Norway ranks 13th and eighth, respectively, in the production of oil and natural gas worldwide, causing environmental pollution in the Arctic region and leaving a large carbon footprint in the world.

The country deposits most of its hydrocarbon revenues in a wealth fund for future generations.

China, Russia absent

Responding a question on the absence of China and Russia in the climate talks, Stoere said: "They're here, but not with the leaders. That's their choice. I think, it should be the responsibility of all leaders to make contributions."

"We will listen to what they say and we will expect that they participate and contribute."

The COP26 UN Climate Change Summit kicked off in Glasgow with the attendance of nearly 25,000 delegates from 200 countries to lay out concrete steps towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the planet.

The summit is considered a deadline for countries to submit updated and more ambitious climate action plans, with broader steps expected from nations contributing the most of emissions across the globe, including the US, China, India, and Russia.

Yet, the presidents of Russia and China -- two of the world's top five emitters -- have confirmed that they are not attending the event.

Hosting the summit, the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that "if Glasgow fails, the whole thing fails."

He said agreements on coal power, the move to electric vehicles, support for developing nations, and reforestation would be crucial at the summit.

Hüseyin Demir