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Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “We must act now to preserve our planet for generations to come”

31 Oct 2021

In the year that has seen wildfires sweeping through the great sequoias of California, floodwaters transforming the metro stations of Zhengzhou into raging waterfalls and unusually strong tropical storms pounding cities earlier than ever before, there’s no escaping the fact that climate change is already with us.

And the science is clear that this is just a foretaste of what awaits if we don’t change course.

So what we need from Cop26 is not fresh insight or new evidence.

What we need is action, commitment, change. We need not just politicians but business, individuals, the whole world to rise to the occasion and do what’s needed to stop our planet getting catastrophically, irreversibly warmer.

That means ending the use of coal for electricity, banishing the internal combustion engine from our roads, stopping the deforestation that desecrates our planet’s lungs and providing the finance the developing world needs to do the same.

And if we can do that, if we can show leadership and make the commitments we need on coal, cars, cash and trees then we can still turn this around.

Cop26 won’t be the end of climate change. But it can mark the beginning of the end. The moment world leaders stop simply agreeing something must be done and get on with actually doing it – making the changes, keeping the promises, and preserving our planet for generations to come.

This article was first published in The Times and Sunday Times in partnership with SSE