United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has delivered in a speech to the United Nations in New York shortly. He emphasised that it is time for humanity to grow up on climate change.
According to PM, the world is approaching a “critical turning point” and countries must finally take responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting on the planet and ourselves.
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His speech comes ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. The PM has used his US visit to push leaders for action on climate change.
Some 100 world leaders are expected to attend the meeting at the UN General Assembly.
Johnson will attempt to strike a humorous note in his speech, saying Kermit the Frog had been wrong when he sang It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green.
There are also expected to be references to Sophocles, the writer of ancient Greek tragedies.
According to the speech released to the media in advance, Johnson said: “If you imagine a million years as the lifespan of an individual human being – about 80 years – then we are now sweet 16.
“We have come to that fateful age when we know roughly how to drive, and we know how to unlock the drinks cabinet and to engage in all sorts of activity that is not only potentially embarrassing but also terminal.
“In the words of the Oxford philosopher Toby Ord ‘we are just old enough to get ourselves into serious trouble,” he adds.
The prime minister will conclude his speech with a plea for leaders to do right by the next generations.
“If we keep on the current track, then the temperatures will go up by 2.7 degrees or more by the end of the century.
“And never mind what that will do to the ice floes: we will see desertification, drought, crop failure, and mass movements of humanity on a scale not seen before, not because of some unforeseen natural event or disaster but because of us, because of what we are doing now,” he said.
The UK and US are the closest of partners, and we will continue to work together as we face the great tasks of the future.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) September 22, 2021
“And our grandchildren will know that we are the culprits and that we were warned, and they will know that it was this generation that came centre stage to speak and act on behalf of posterity and that we missed our cue, and they will ask what kind of people we were to be so selfish and so short-sighted.”
At Cop26, leaders from 196 countries will be asked to agree action to limit climate change and its effects, like rising sea levels and extreme weather.
A recent report from UN scientists warned that global temperatures have risen faster since 1970 than at any point in the past 2,000 years.