The Prime Minister says the British people are “not dumb” and while they “may not listen” to him on tackling climate change, they do listen to Sir David Attenborough.
The second day of the COP26 summit saw Boris Johnson admit he is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for securing a deal in Glasgow to curb global warming.
Ahead of the summit, the Conservative party leader suggested that humanity was 5-1 down at half-time in the battle against climate change.
But speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, he stuck with the football analogy to claim the world had “pulled back a goal, or perhaps even two” and could “take this thing to extra time, because there’s no doubt that some progress has been made”.
He said while the public “may not listen” to him, they “certainly listen” to the well-respected British naturalist and broadcaster.
The two-day leaders’ event which opened the summit has now drawn to a close, but the Prime Minister made it clear he would continue to be engaged.
The second day of the conference was sprinkled with some Hollywood stardust after actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio prompted a frenzy arriving at the climate conference.
The A-lister, who is a UN climate change representative, was seen at the Kew Carbon Garden exhibit at the main conference centre.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also made an appearance at the summit but came under fire for flying in a private jet.
He told the climate conference that he had grasped nature’s fragility when he travelled into space in July and pledged £1.5 billion to help save the planet.
Speaking in Glasgow, Mr Johnson said: “If we don’t do this, if we don’t fix our climate, it will be an economic catastrophe as well as an environmental catastrophe.
“I think people need to understand that as point number one, the only way to fix this is to reduce CO2 and tackle climate change.
“I also happen to think that there’s a great wisdom in the British people and I think that they can see that this is an issue that needs to be fixed and they may not listen to me, but they certainly listen to Sir David Attenborough and they look at what’s actually happening around the world.
The one and only Sir David Attenborough telling world leaders that it’s time to act – and that there is no longer any excuse for inaction – was a powerful moment of the #COP26 opening ceremony pic.twitter.com/CdQyM0EgiE
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 1, 2021
“They look at the fires, they look at the floods, and they look at the hurricanes, and the increased incidence of all three, much-increased incidence, and they think something’s happening here.”
“They’re not dumb and they can see that this is something that needs to be tackled.”