Skip to main content

Home Politics Politics News

Boris Johnson to warn world is “one minute to midnight” at COP26

He is also set to tell leaders they need to “move from talk and debate and discussion to concerted, real-world action”

By Hollie Geraghty

Boris Johnson stands in front of a podium that reads 'Build Back Better'.
Boris Johnson (Photo: Alamy).

Boris Johnson will warn world leaders today that it is “one minute to midnight and we need to act now” to combat climate change.

The Prime Minister will open the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow this morning with a keynote speech that will encourage leaders to “move from talk and debate and discussion to concerted, real-world action”.

Speaking to the BBC, Johnson said it was a “critical” moment for him, adding that a favourable outcome was “in the balance”.

The Prime Minister is also set to tell leaders today that humanity has “long since run down the clock on climate change”.

He also confirmed that he did not want to see the controversial proposed construction of a coal mine to go ahead in Cumbria.

“I’m not in favour of more coal,” he said. “But it is not a decision for me, it is a decision for the planning authorities.”

Meanwhile, Greta Thunberg arrived in Glasgow ahead of the summit on Saturday (October 30), surrounded by activists and supporters, but revealed on the Andrew Marr show that was was not officially invited to the summit.

“​​I don’t know. It’s very unclear. Not officially,” she said.

“I think that many people might be scared that if they invite too many radical young people, then that might make them look bad.”

Billie Eilish also last week called for “urgent climate action” at the summit.

In a video posted by the University of Exeter’s Twitter account, she said: “We must stand together and speak up to save our planet. Not just for us, but for future generations, and we need urgent, urgent action now and to work together as one”.

‘The Office’ star Rainn Wilson also urged world leaders to have “courage” in the climate change decisions they make.

“That’s what our world’s leaders need more than anything,” he said. “The decisions that they make about the climate crisis in the next decade are the most important decisions in our planet’s history.”

The clips were shared as past of the university’s Green Futures campaign. Launched in collaboration with Arctic Basecamp, it urges world leaders to have courage and tackle the climate crisis and is pioneering ways to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Tom Daley, Andy Murray and Max Whitlock are also among more than 50 top athletes who have appealed to governments for action in a new video.

COP26 is a 12-day event running from October 31 to November 12.