“This is not the moment to abandon the campaign for net zero”, the former UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, told the opening day of the COP27 climate talks in Egypt.
At a side-event at the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, he said:
“There are people who have drawn the conclusion that the whole project of net zero needs to be delayed, mothballed and put on ice.
“And, for instance, we need to reopen coal-fired power stations and frack the hell out the British countryside.
“I believe that here at Sharm, we really need to tackle this nonsense head-on.”
In 2019, the UK government introduced a moratorium on fracking in England. This was lifted briefly in September by Mr Johnson’s successor, Liz Truss, and then reinstated last month by the new prime minister, Rishi Sunak.
Also in 2019, the UK government and the devolved administrations committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Mr Johnson said he had come to COP27 in a “supportive role”. He said he wanted to remind people of the achievements of COP26, the climate talks held in Glasgow last year:
“It is incredible to think how much has changed since the last COP and to be frank how much damage has been done in just one year to our great common purpose of tackling man-made climate change.”
DrillOrDrop is an accredited journalist at COP27 reporting remotely on the climate talks