UK PM Boris Johnson warns world leaders not to ‘throw away chance to preserve our planet’

London: The world has to turn the tide on climate change this decade or risk being remembered as the generation that failed to protect our planet, the Prime Minister will tell the Climate Leaders Summit today.

He will address the opening session of the virtual summit, which is hosted by US President Joe Biden and aims to secure commitments on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, shifting to renewable energy and climate finance for developing countries.

The UK this week set into law the world’s most ambitious climate change target, pledging to cut carbon emissions by 78 percent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

The Prime Minister is calling on global leaders and businesses meeting today to match that level of ambition ahead of COP26 if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Speaking at the Climate Leaders Summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say:

The UK has shown that it’s possible to slash emissions while growing the economy, which makes question of reaching net zero not so much technical as political.

If we actually want to stop climate change, then this must be the year in which we get serious about doing so. Because the 2020s will be remembered either as the decade in which world leaders united to turn the tide, or as a failure.

So let’s come to Kunming in October and Glasgow in November armed with ambitious targets and the plans required to reach them. And let the history books show that it was this generation of leaders that possessed the will to preserve our planet for generations to come.

The US-hosted Climate Leaders Summit is an important moment to build momentum on the road to the COP Biodiversity Summit in Kunming in October and the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.

As COP President this year, the UK is leading international efforts to secure ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets in line with reaching net zero by the middle of the century, backed up by clear action plans and policy changes such as phasing out coal. The UK will set out its Net Zero Strategy with policies to hit its new targets ahead of COP26.

More than 120 countries have made net zero commitments to date, covering 65% of global carbon emissions – more than triple the 20% covered when the UK took over the COP Presidency in December 2019.

The UK Government has also committed £11.6 billion in international climate finance to support developing countries over the next five years.

Ahead of COP26, we are asking donor countries to deliver on their commitment to secure $100 billion of public finance, as well as working with businesses to leverage private finance and expertise to ensure all countries can address climate change and deal with its impacts.