Boris Johnson Urges Negotiators to Break Impasse in Final Climate Summit Hours
“Now is the time to get together and show the determination needed to power on through the blockages,” the British prime minister said on Wednesday.
Boris Johnson urges negotiators to ‘pull out all the stops’ as the U.N. summit nears its end.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain on Wednesday at the COP26 climate change conference.Credit…Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Nov. 10, 2021, 1:14 p.m. ET
With the summit moving into its final days in Glasgow, its host, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, pleaded with officials and negotiators on Wednesday to seize the opportunity to strike an ambitious agreement that would avert the worst effects of climate change.
“Here in Glasgow, the world has been closer than it has ever been to signaling the beginning of the end of anthropogenic climate change,” he said. “We just need to reach out together and grasp it.”
Mr. Johnson declined to single out countries that have yet to commit to a framework, saying, “I think everybody knows who needs to do what.” But he pleaded with world leaders to give their representatives more room to bargain and called on negotiators to “pull out all the stops.”
“Now is the time to get together and show the determination needed to power on through the blockages,” he said. He warned bluntly that if agreements driven by world leaders and negotiators failed, the world would find it “absolutely incomprehensible.”
Mr. Johnson’s comments on Wednesday were in line with his doomsday rhetoric earlier in the conference, when he likened the price of not reaching an agreement to how “a red digital clock ticks down remorselessly to a detonation that will end human life as we know it.”
Britain’s hosting of the summit has been blemished by scandals closer to home, with Conservative lawmakers accused of using their positions for financial gain. Mr. Johnson, a Conservative, avoided questions on Wednesday about the allegations, but he said that lawmakers who were not putting the interests of their constituents first “should face appropriate sanctions and punishment.”