The world is at “one minute to midnight” after spending time waiting to fight climate change, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
He was speaking as world leaders gathered for the historic COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.
Speaking to the BBC, Johnson said leaders must move from “aspiration to action” to slow global warming.
He added that the summit was a “critical” moment for him and said that an ambitious result is still “in the balance”.
For the first time, Johnson also confirmed that he does not want to see a controversial coal mine in Cumbria go ahead.
The UK is hosting the UN climate conference among scientists concerned that countries are not doing enough to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which have caused global average temperatures to rise.
The 2015 Paris climate conference called for an increase in average temperatures well below 2 ° C, and preferably only 1.5 ° C, compared to pre-industrial averages.
Johnson has promised to add £ 1 billion to the money the government has set aside over the next four years to help developing countries.
The government has already admitted that the developed world would not fully deliver on its 2009 promise to pay the poorest countries $ 100 billion a year to help tackle climate change, about the equivalent of £ 73 billion according to current exchange rates.
The government has also been criticized for cutting foreign aid this year.
Johnson urged other developed nations to commit more money.
Johnson said the conference’s other two central objectives would be to persuade world leaders to commit to accelerating the transition from gasoline and diesel cars and to halt deforestation.
Asked about the controversial proposal to license a company to mine coking coal off the coast of Cumbria, Johnson said: “I am not in favor of more coal.”
The government criticized for not stopping the mining project.
“But it’s not a decision for me, it’s a decision for the planning authorities,” he added.
This is the strongest statement the prime minister has ever made on the subject and could help the negotiations because persuading nations to commit to the phasing out of coal is one of the central goals that the UK government has set for the crucial. United Nations conference.
COP26 Climate Summit – The Basics
- Climate change is one of the most pressing problems in the world. Governments must promise more ambitious gas cuts for warming if we are to prevent greater global temperature rises.
- The Glasgow Summit is where change could happen. You have to watch out for the promises made by the world’s biggest polluters, such as the United States and China, and whether the poorest countries are getting the support they need.
- All our lives will change. The decisions made here could impact our work, how we heat our homes, what we eat and how we travel.
Read more about the COP26 Summit here.
Johnson also defended last week’s budget decision to cut tariffs on domestic short-haul flights by 50 percent.
He described it as a difficult decision, adding: “Even the distinguished Scottish politicians who are beating me for it don’t really come to London by any other means.”
The comment appears to be a criticism of SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford.
Blackford branded cutting passenger rights as a “shame” and said it was proof that the government “didn’t understand the climate challenge.”
Johnson told the BBC that attracting more private funding into low-carbon investments would be key to ensuring rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Governments can bring billions to the table, he said, but the market has “hundreds of trillions”.
When asked what the Johnson family were doing to reduce their carbon footprint, Johnson joked that he had “totally abolished commuting” when he moved to number 10 and started living above his workplace.
He declined to say whether he had cut meat from his diet, adding that he had “started eating a lot less of all kinds of things”.
Mr. Johnson did not confirm whether he now considered himself an environmentalist, but insisted that “he was not the black sheep of my family” on environmental issues. Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie, his father Stanley and his brother Leo are all very passionate environmentalists.
The COP26 world climate summit in Glasgow in November is seen as crucial if climate change is to be kept under control. Nearly 200 countries are being asked for their plans to reduce emissions and this could lead to major changes in our daily lives.
- Why the COP26 climate summit is important
- Simple guide to climate change
- What will climate change be like for you?
- Will the UK meet its climate targets?
- How extreme climate is linked to climate change
- Boris Johnson
- Climate change
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