The Prime Minister said the success in developing Covid-19 vaccines showed how scientific advances can protect the planet. With a nod to Greek mythology, he said: “By the Promethean power of our invention we can begin to defend the Earth against the disaster of global warming and by that I mean that together we can reduce our emissions, we can radically cut our dependence on fossil fuels, we can change our agricultural practices and in short we can reverse the process by which for centuries humanity has been quilting our planet in a toxic tea cosy of greenhouse gasses.”
Speaking at the start of the Climate Ambition Summit, he set out Britain’s plan for a green industrial revolution, saying: “We are doing this not because we are hair shirt-wearing, tree-hugging mung bean-munching eco freaks – although I’ve got nothing against any of those categories and mung beans are probably delicious. We are doing it because we know that scientific advances will allow us, collectively as humanity to save our planet and create millions of high-skilled jobs as we recover from Covid.”
Boasting of his government’s plans to retrofit homes with insulation, he said: “Whatever the UK may be accused of lagging in we won’t be lagging in lagging.”
United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres warned leaders the world was heading for a “catastrophic” 3C of warming, and urged them to declare a state of climate emergency in their countries until they had become carbon neutral.