COP26 is just days away.

World leaders and negotiators are coming together in Glasgow to work out how we can prevent the earth’s catastrophic temperature rise and bring down emissions to avoid the widespread devastation scientists have warned us about.

Sea level rise, extreme weather disasters and flooding are all caused by climate change, but is this enough of a wake-up call for world leaders and the UK government to take the action that’s needed?

READ MORE: What is Cop26 and what does it mean for Wales?

And this is not some far flung issue. All too many Welsh households have been victim to climate change. Some of my own constituents experienced devastating flooding during Storm Dennis and now live in constant fear of storms - unable to sleep and constantly checking water levels. That’s no way to live.

So what can world leaders do for those who live in fear of drought, extreme weather or flooding, whether in Kampala or Cardiff?

As a former climate adviser with the Welsh Government and with the UN, I have been at many international COP meetings which are hugely complex gatherings. Negotiators and country representatives all play to the politics of their own country or region and very few people actually know what’s really going on.

The National Wales: Anna McMorrin is the MP for Cardiff North, former Special Adviser on Climate Change, Vice Chair of the APPG on Net Zero and Shadow Minister for Victims and Youth JusticeAnna McMorrin is the MP for Cardiff North, former Special Adviser on Climate Change, Vice Chair of the APPG on Net Zero and Shadow Minister for Victims and Youth Justice

That won’t be any different at Glasgow, while we see whether countries produce their climate action plans or whether the Chinese President will even be there.

In Paris in 2015, the climate agreement was reached at the eleventh hour and came as a huge relief. But this time we need a genuine commitment from all 192 countries to demonstrate action and show how they are on track to meet the targets set out at Paris.

There’s certainly a growing sense of urgency coming from governments but not at the level we need and not co-ordinated across the globe.

We know what we need to do to meet those targets.

Emissions from power plants, transport, housing and industry must be significantly reduced over the next decade and we need a transition to green jobs and industry – creating opportunities of the future.

READ MORE: UN's 'Code Red' climate report ramps up pressure on governments

The price of not doing so will be far greater than the expense of taking action, and we are running out of time.

The world is now looking to the UK to negotiate and broker a serious deal. Yet despite the rhetoric, we’ve seen the UK government undermine vital progress: slashing development aid and hampering projects for the most climate-vulnerable communities and continuing to pump billions of taxpayers’ money into dirty fossil fuel projects.

Our Welsh Labour Government punches above its weight when it comes to climate action.

The Welsh Ministry for Climate Change led by Julie James, bringing major briefs under a single department is a prime example of the bold action needed. The Welsh Government is due to publish its own net zero plan tomorrow, but has already announced a moratorium on road building and that 20,000 new homes for social rent will be entirely carbon neutral, using Welsh materials.

But Welsh Ministers will be the first to admit there’s lots more to do and that we need a more radical shift to carbon neutral solutions.

So now the world’s eyes are on us.

Do we continue down this path of rising emissions, missed targets and locking ourselves into a fossil fuel era with devastating consequences, or do we ensure that COP26 is the watershed moment to get a grip, drive global ambition and ensure a safe and secure future for our future generations?

Anna McMorrin is the MP for Cardiff North, former Special Adviser on Climate Change, Vice Chair of the APPG on Net Zero and Shadow Minister for Victims and Youth Justice.

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