Boris Johnson to tackle ‘corrosive cynicism’ as he supports net zero in speech at COP27


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The former Prime Minister will attend the summit at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre in Egypt. The climate change conference is set to run from November 6 to November 18 and will be attended by a number of world leaders.

Mr Johnson has said that the target to reduce the use of fossil fuels cannot be interrupted by Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and “corrosive cynicism”.

The MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip will give a speech at the summit on Monday to warn of “naysayers” who are attempting to negatively impact hopes for net zero.

Mr Johnson will declare that “corrosive cynicism” is endangering the world’s ambitions to reduce global fossil fuel usage.

He will also add that “defeatism” around climate change, which he blamed on Putin’s conflict in Ukraine, must be tackled.

Mr Johnson will say that the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C is still possible and will help avoid the worst effects of climate change.

At a Climate Forward event by The New York Times, he will say: “Because the spike in oil and gas prices – and the consequent global inflation, the hikes in the cost of fertiliser and food – have had an impact here and everywhere, they have led some naysayers to a corrosive cynicism about net zero.

“We must end the defeatism that has crept in since last year, we must end Putin’s energy blackmail, we must keep up our campaign to end global dependence on hydrocarbons, and if we retain the spirit of creative and promethean optimism that we saw at Paris and Glasgow, then we can keep 1.5 alive.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak initially said he would not attend the climate conference due to the urgent work which needs to be done at home on the economy.

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However, with King Charles being keen to attend despite being stopped by former Prime Minister Liz Truss and Boris Johnson then announcing his attendance, Mr Sunak changed his mind.

Mr Johnson announced his attendance last weekend after the Prime Minister said he was not going, but experts believe Johnson’s visit convinced Sunak to go in order to symbolically show his position as Britain’s new Prime Minister on the international stage.

It is likely there was some concern among staff at Downing Street that Johnson’s presence may outshine the Prime Minister and though Mr Sunak is now in Egypt, these fears will still remain.

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Since COP26 in Glasgow last year, Johnson has surfaced as a passionate advocate of net zero, despite previously being uncertain about green issues.

For COP27, Johnson said he was keen to “talk a little bit about how I see things and how we see things in the UK”.

Other world leaders such as Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are also due to attend the conference in Egypt.



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