The history of climate change — from the Great Ice Age to COP26 and beyond

As the COP26 summit continues in Glasgow, Jack Blanchard looks back at the history of climate change, from the dramatic shifts at the end of the Ice Age to the political rows of the modern era.

Anthropologist Professor Brian Fagan takes us back to pre-historic, ancient and medieval periods to assess how past human societies coped with a changing climate. In more recent history, Margaret Thatcher’s Political Secretary John Whittingdale explains why the Tory PM was among the first world leaders to campaign for a global deal on cutting greenhouse gases.

Former Labour leader — and ex-climate change secretary — Ed Miliband discusses his experiences of pushing Britain’s first climate laws through parliament, and of panicking in his underpants at the COP15 summit in Copenhagen. Author Richard Black and Tory MP Steve Baker discuss the thinking behind those opposed to radical action on the climate.

And Boris Johnson’s COP26 Spokeswoman Allegra Stratton rings in from Glasgow with an update on the progress — or lack of it — so far.

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