COP26: The Queen's message and other key moments in the global climate change conference's 1st day

Global leaders have gathered at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, to discuss urgent action to combat a rapidly warming world. Here are some memorable quotes from heads of state and government and others who are giving speeches Monday, the second day of the two-week conference in Glasgow.

Activists, world leaders call for immediate action to stave off 'existential threat'

The Queen's message to world leaders at COP26

3 months ago
Duration 4:05
Queen Elizabeth left well wishes for the political leaders at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, saying 'the time for words has now moved to the time for action.' 4:05

Our planet is changing. So is our journalism. This story is part of a CBC News initiative entitled Our Changing Planet to show and explain the effects of climate change and what is being done about it.

Global leaders have gathered at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, to discuss urgent action to combat a rapidly warming world.

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Here are some memorable quotes from heads of state and government and others who are giving speeches Monday, the second day of the two-week conference in Glasgow, Scotland:

"It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit — written in history books yet to be printed — will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity, and that you answered the call of those future generations. That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire and a plan to address the impact of climate change and to recognize that the time for words has now moved to the time for action." — Queen Elizabeth

"The people who will judge us are children not yet born and their children, and we are now coming centre 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

"To the world's most vulnerable who need us to act, to Indigenous people who can show us the way, to young people marching in our streets in cities around the world. It's true, your leaders do need to do better. That's why we're here today." — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"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

U.S. President Joe Biden attends the opening session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday. The UN climate summit gathers leaders from around the world to lay out their vision for addressing the common challenge of global warming. (Erin Schaff/Pool/Reuters)

"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." — UN 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

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley speaks during the opening ceremony of COP26 on Monday. (Jeff J Mitchell/Reuters)

"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

WATCH | Politicians at COP26 only 'pretending' to take future seriously, says Thunberg:

Politicians at COP26 only 'pretending' to take future seriously, says Thunberg

3 months ago
Duration 0:29
Climate activist Greta Thunberg says real leadership on climate change will not come from politicians attending the COP26 gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, because they are only 'pretending to take our futures seriously.' (Andrew Milligan/The Associated Press) 0:29

"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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