BORIS Johnson has claimed that COP26 was not a failure and “proved the doubters and the cynics wrong”.

The Prime Minister made the assertion during a statement in the House of Commons on the UN climate conference.

Although the UK has been criticised for the watering down of a phrase which agreed to “phase-out” coal use to instead “phase down”, and the lack of any mention of phasing out fossil fuels such as oil.

The Prime Minister has continued to insist that the summit was a success, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that the summit was held back by Johnson’s “guileless boosterism” which only emboldened big emitters and said the UK’s coal commitments are not what they seem.

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And Ian Blackford, for the SNP, urged Johnson to follow the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government by committing funding for loss and damage caused by climate change.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Johnson said that many people “predicted” COP26 would fail and some “quietly” wanted it to.

He added: “Yet it was a summit that proved the doubters and the cynics wrong, because Cop26 did not just succeed in keeping 1.5C alive, it’s succeeded in doing something no UN climate conference has ever done before, by uniting the world in calling time on coal.”

The Prime Minister told MPs the UK’s “setting of an example” made it easier to win concessions from other countries at the COP26 summit.

Speaking with a hoarse voice, Johnson said: “What has been achieved has only come about thanks to month after month of concerted British diplomacy and countless meetings, the innumerable phone calls, the banging of heads at UNGA (United Nations General Assembly), the Petersburg dialogue, President Biden’s climate summit, the Security Council, the G7 summit, the G20.

The National:

Johnson made the comments during a statement on COP26 in the House of Commons

“And the setting of an example, several examples, by the UK, because again and again the task of our negotiators was made easier by the fact that the UK wasn’t asking anyone to do anything that we aren’t doing ourselves.

“We have slashed our use of coal so much that our last two coal-fired power stations will go offline for good in 2024.”

Starmer said that COP26 was held back by Johnson’s “guileless boosterism” which “only served to embolden the big emitters”.

He added: “The Prime Minister praised inadequate net-zero plans. He called the Australia plans heroic – even though their plan was so slow that it was in line with 4C of global warming.

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“By providing this cover, the Prime Minister had little chance of exerting influence over the other big emitters, and we saw many more disappointing national plans.”

Starmer also said that Johnson dressed up “modest” coal commitments as “transformational”.

The Labour leader said that earlier during the COP26 summit the Government claimed that “190 countries and organisations had agreed to end coal”.

He added that only 46 were countries, only 23 were new signatories, 10 do not use coal, and the “13 that remained did not include the biggest coal users”.

He said the big emitters were “emboldened” and “clubbed together late in COP to gut the main deal’s wording on coal”.

Starmer added: “Only someone who thinks that promises are meaningless could now argue that an agreement to phase down coal is the same as an agreement to phase it out.”

The National:

It comes as SNP leader Blackford (pictured) said that whether or not the Glasgow Climate Pact succeeds will depend on whether or not countries deliver on theri commitments.

Speaking in the House of Commons said: "That is the only way to truly keep the 1.5 degree target alive. "If that urgent leadership is to be shown – then the example of that leadership needs to begin at home.

"The Scottish Government led on climate justice throughout Cop – we were the first country to pledge funds for loss & damage to help those vulnerable countries who have contributed least to climate change but are suffering its worst effects.”

He called on the Prime Minister to reverse international aid cuts and follow First Minister Nicola Sturgeon by committing funds to loss and damage caused by climate change.

It came as the SNP leader called out Johnson for telling a press conference that the climate summit took place in Edinburgh.