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Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.

  • "What we're trying to achieve a Glasgow is in many ways harder than Paris," Sharma said, referring to COP21 that yielded the Paris Agreement.
  • "We are, if I can put it like this, getting towards the end of the exam, particularly on the issue of the rulebook after six years, we still have some of the most difficult questions to answer. And we're effectively in the last half hour of the exam," he said.

Go deeper: What to know about COP26 in Glasgow

Go deeper

China’s Glasgow gambit

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Justin Chin/Bloomberg, Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

GLASGOW, Scotland — China used backroom negotiating to make itself a player, though far from a leader, at the global COP26 climate summit.

Why it matters: It's in the world's best interest for the U.S. and China to manage tensions and cooperate in the future, since the two together account for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Move against fossil fuels hangs on at COP26

A delegate at COP26 in Glasgow on Nov. 12, 2021. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

GLASGOW, Scotland An explicit effort to push the global economy away from coal and phase out fossil fuel subsidies has softened but remains alive in the latest draft COP26 summit agreement.

Why it matters: The careful language of the nonbinding agreement is meant as a critical global consensus on the scope of actions needed to prevent global warming's most dire harms.

For this envoy at COP26, negotiations are a "lifeline"

Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, speaks at COP26 on November 9, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

GLASGOW, ScotlandWhen Tina Stege, the Marshall Islands climate envoy, walks into a negotiating room, she carries a burden that most other negotiators here do not. Her task is ensuring the survival of her low-lying island nation.

What's happening: In an interview with Axios Thursday on the sidelines of the summit, a visibly exhausted Stege talked about what separates her thinking on the COP26 climate summit from the others' approach to these talks.