The COP26 summit in Glasgow reaches its climax today, as world leaders try and thrash out a deal to halt climate change. But as well as attempting to find agreement, politicians and other bigwigs are competing to outdo each other in their dire warnings of what might happen if nothing changes. Here are six of the most melodramatic claims to emerge so far from COP:
Boris Johnson’s ‘doomsday clock’:
‘The doomsday device is real,’ said Boris Johnson as he addressed COP26 delegates on the dangers of climate change. The PM said humanity’s situation was comparable to a James Bond film where ‘a red digital clock ticks down remorselessly to a destination that will end human life as we know it’.
‘The clock is ticking to the furious rhythm of hundreds of billions of engines and furnaces and turbines that are enveloping the Earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2,’ warned Boris. Is this really the same man who once suggested concerns about global warming were a ‘primitive fear’?
Prince Charles’ war of the world:
The future king has long been outspoken when it comes to environmental issues. His speech at COP was no exception: the Prince of Wales called for a ‘vast military-style campaign’ to address urgent environmental issues. ‘Time has quite literally run out,’ he said.
UN chief’s potty mouth:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was similarly downbeat as he said people are ‘treating nature like a toilet’. Guterres said that the world’s reliance on fossil fuels meant that ‘we are digging our own graves’.
Welby’s ‘genocide’ warning:
The Archbishop of Canterbury went a tad too far in his own warning about the dire situation facing mankind. Justin Welby said leaders would be ‘cursed’ if they didn’t reach agreement on climate change at the COP summit. Welby added that a failure to act now could lead to ‘a genocide on an infinitely greater scale’ than was committed by Hitler’s regime.