History will judge leaders who fail to show ‘courage' on climate, warns Boris Johnson

© PA boris-johnson

Boris Johnson has issued a warning to the leaders of the world’s biggest economies that history will judge them harshly if they fail to deliver on climate change at the crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.

Addressing a top-level meeting on the margin of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the prime minister voiced “frustration” that some of the world’s richest economies have failed to come good on demands to cut carbon emissions and fund a $100bn-a-year drive to help developing countries adapt.

And he urged them to show “leadership”, warning: “When the summit ends, when most of the world has committed to decisive, game-changing action, it will be clear to all which of us has lacked the courage to step up.”

Those who try to “do the minimum” on climate change will be “complicit” in the fate of poorer nations which fall victim to extreme weather as the planet heats, and they will not escape the same problems themselves, he warned.

The PM did not name any specific countries in his speech, but it was clear his words were aimed at countries like Japan and Russia which have failed to sign up to improved commitments on emission reductions, as well as Brazil, where widespread burning of the Amazon rainforest has contributed to global warming.

Mr Johnson has vowed to tell Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro that he must halt the destruction of the Earth’s “lungs” in a face-to-face meeting today.

His comments came shortly after he issued a gloomy assessment that the chances of success at the crucial Glasgow summit were no more than six in 10.

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