COP27: Boris Johnson criticises net zero sceptics who want to “frack the hell out of the British countryside”

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.

Boris Johnson speaking at a New York Times-Guardian event at the COP27 climate talks.
Photo: Video of New York Times-Guardian side event

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

14 replies »

      • THE £50 pound note
        It’s a slow day in a small country village and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.
        A tourist visiting the area drives through the village, stops at the hotel, and lays a £50 pound note on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the hotel owner grabs the note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
        (now… pay attention)
        The butcher takes the £50 and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the £50 and heads off to pay his bill to his feed supplier.
        The guy at the supplier takes the £50 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit.
        Now, the hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner.
        The hotel proprietor then places the £50 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything.
        At that moment the traveller comes back down the stairs, stating that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the £50 pound note and leaves.
        No one produced anything and no one earned anything!
        However… the whole village now thinks that they are out of debt and there is a false atmosphere of optimism and glee!

        And that is how the Anti’s, and socialist Labour Party wants to operate, without a thought the consequences!

    • Possibly he’s influenced by his present wife or maybe environmentalism is in his blood. His father, Stanley, was vice chairman of the Committee on the Environment in the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984 and together with being ambassador of the UN Convention on Migratory Animals and several other wildlife organisations he has also written numerous books on the environment and has received awards from the RSPCA, WWF and the RSPB.
      Whatever or whoever has influenced Boris Johnson’s stance on the environment and climate change we can only be thankful that he has seen fit to roundly condemn Truss and Rees Mogg’s desperate attempt to throw red meat to the Tory membership in the form of reneging on the manifesto pledge of the fracking moratorium in the hope of gaining the leadership. How well that all went.

  1. Or the country can be covered in nuclear power plants. Anyone seen the new plan to safely dispose of the waste? Nope. UK can’t even dispose of nuclear submarines.

  2. Whatever convinced him is hardly the point, as UK is just about to sign a major agreement with USA to BUY huge quantities of LNG to try and provide some energy security for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, and the nuclear sites are still on the drawing board.
    Off shoring our carbon footprint according to Greta, so that must be right!

    Of course, that agreement may be somewhat upset after Mid Terms, as there are some in USA who were not too happy their prices were up to $7 per MMBtu whilst in Europe it was $47 per MMBtu. However, I suspect it will be a good way to help the Democrats biggest issue, the economy.

    Looks as if Chesapeake Energy is going to continue to be a cash cow, Jack! With good old UK feeding it gold- plated grass. The new normal. Not to worry, there will still be the opportunity for UK politicians to swan around the world whilst those in the UK pay for their lifestyles and also pay for the gold- plated grass at the same time. Wonder if Rishi has removed that wallpaper yet? If so, perhaps the advantages of DIY may have crossed his mind?

    • OH dear MARTIN ,

      I leave you alone for a few days and you start to run amok with your wild off-the-cuff comments again . JACK just can’t leave you alone for more than five minutes , can he ?????

      Do you REALLY want JACK to cut and paste my comments on the Chesapeake Energy again????????

      Anyway MARTIN , we may be importing gas but at least in BANNING UK Fracking , we won’t be exposing our children to an increased risk of Leukemia .

      Or an increased risk of Breast Cancer in woman

      Or early DEATH for people living near Fracking sites

      MARTIN , be comforted , safe in the knowledge that JACK will put up these ” links ” to crucial evidence that warn of the dangers of Fracking for as long as it takes to convince you. of the risks .

      MARRIN , what are your thoughts on the above LINKS ??????? Will you enlighten us with your pearls of wisdom , or just pretend you’ve not seen them and fly of on a diversionary tangent , talking about some irrelevant thing like the price of EGGS ??????

      DON’T you agree , a Fracking BAN in the UK is an excellent decision ?????


      Germany is keen to talk to Britain about a solidarity pact that would allow Europe’s largest consumers of natural gas to bail each other out if an extreme cold snap were to create shortages this winter, German officials have said.

      Such an agreement could be mutually beneficial for both London and Berlin, the German civil servant in charge of rationing in the case of a supply crisis told the Guardian in an interview.

      “With its long coastline, the UK has a geographic advantage when it comes to infrastructure for importing liquid natural gas [LNG],”, said Klaus Müller, the head of the federal network agency for utilities, Bundesnetzagentur. “But the experience of the last few weeks has also shown us that the size of the gas network also matters. The larger the network, the easier to adjust temporary deficits.”

      • So, Paul, Germany want UK to make their facilities available to support Germany. That sounds sensible. What will they give in return? They have gas storage, but UK will increase gas storage if they are to make best use of such deals as they are about to do with USA.

        Maybe the NI protocol?

        But surely there would be no need for bailing out in an extreme cold snap as there are all these renewables!

  3. My thoughts on your links, Jack? Well, Chesapeake Energy turned out well! NOT. A link suggested to state something whilst the reality is the opposite. There is a simple little word for that, Jack.
    [Edited by moderator]
    Find a link to National Trust membership and state they will support decisions within the NT because they are members, even when it was very apparent many members were unhappy with NT management decisions back then, and that unhappiness has continued until today.

    I could go on.

    Your links? Fodder for the gullible. You mistake me for one.

    You really need to reset your linkage. You will not do that, as it is what you do. Find some link and state that has to be the truth, even when it isn’t and ignore the truth even when it is. Looked into those deaths and destruction from forest fires caused by electricity distribution yet, Jack? In USA but not in UK. Maybe a message there?

    Sorry Jack, but if US is exposing children to leukemia and UK is asking USA to frack more gas for UK and then creating transport emissions on top there would be MORE children exposed to leukemia. Your rubbish arithmetic may be the reality, but no excuse.

    Price of eggs would be cheaper if wheat was not being plonked into petrol tanks in E10 petrol that then costs the motorists more as well, and scientists were not turning round and now stating that fuel from crops has no better a carbon footprint than fossil fuel! Another truth you will ignore even when it is, and simply claim it is irrelevant when it isn’t. Formulaic but like a cheap algorithm, flawed.

    • MARTIN please ,

      Or should I call you BOT MARTIN ??????

      A mere software application programmed to repeat the same nonsense , time and time again . Even when they are repeatedly shown to be WRONG .

      This would also account for your lack of consideration and empathy towards human beings , animals and the environment .

      I raise this point to the readers and ask them to consider the evidence I put forward ….. When MARTIN is shown indisputable evidence that warn of the dangers of Fracking to human and animal health, the environment and climate change . HE/SHE or BOT brushes it away with an uncaring ” OPINION ” only.

      MARTIN , will only ever give you an OPINION.

      An internet BOT can only ever give an OPINION , it’s NOT capable of ” cutting and pasting ” LINKS …….

      Does this remind you of anyone ladies and gentlemen ?????

      Now BOT MARTIN , I will repeat for the 100th time my response on Chesapeake Energy.

      I hope your master ( computer programmer ) is taking note , because I’m getting SICK and TIRED of cutting and pasting the same things , over and over again .

      Regarding Chesapeake Energy , I said , quote,

      During ” normal ” oil prices Chesapeake Energy was a HUGE debt ridden, toxic, white elephant . With unsupportable debts of $9 BILLION …

      Now at the moment during the current conflict with Russia, the very costly process of Fracking in the USA may be able to keep its head above the water line , but then so can anyone in the Oil and Gas industry.

      I could extract Oil from discarded human toenail clippings and become an overnight success during these uncertain times. Anybody who can’t make money at this moment in time in the Oil and Gas industry is beyond stupid and definitely shouldn’t be in the business.

      BUT , what the forum members need to consider is this ….. What happens when this war is over and the price of Oil and Gas stabilize again???????

      What happens as the world moves away from Fossil fuels ??????

      The answer for the Fracking industry is simple…………HUGE DEBTS , BANKRUPTCIES, and costly toxic legacies will be left for the ” good old taxpayers “, financial institutions, banks and pension funds to shoulder.

      Just look at American shale debt over 15 years .

      And you think this would be a good thing for the UK , do you ???????

      Take note BOT MARTIN , real living human beings , value their health and wellbeing . That is why they say NO to Fracking


      After so much time has elapsed, your bitterness still runs deep towards the National Trust .

      The fact that the UK’s second largest landowner , the National Trust is firmly against Fracking , is fabulous news .

      BOT MARTIN , I was disappointed you weren’t able to make it to my week long , FRACK BAN UK party . As I had pointed out on your invitation , unlimited FREE SOLAR electricity was available to power your circuits .

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