Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Admits He 'Doesn't Get' Climate Change Says Sacked No 10 Adviser; 'We're Oxford Utd Level, but We Need to Be Liverpool'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Admits He 'Doesn't Get' Climate Change Says Sacked No 10 Adviser; 'We're Oxford Utd Level, but We Need to Be Liverpool'

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

BORIS JOHNSON admitted he "doesn't really get" climate change, the former president of a United Nations environmental summit being hosted by Britain said in a blistering attack today.

Claire O'Neill, who was fired by No 10 last week, was scathing about the Government's green credentials, saying it was "playing at Oxford United levels and we need to be Liverpool". She also said the Prime Minister could not be trusted to keep his promises.

She spoke out two hours before Mr Johnson joined Sir David Attenborough on stage at the Science Museum to set out his ambitions for the COP 26 summit that will see 200 world leaders gather in Glasgow in November.

Mr Johnson stressed his ambition to make Britain a net zero-emissions country by 2050. He said: "The temperature of our planet has gone up by one degree and it is predicted to Continued on Page 6 Continued from Page 1 get three degrees hotter. In the hurricanes, bushfires, the acidification of the oceans, the evidence is becoming overwhelming and we know we must act." He announced that the Government is to bring forward a ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, five years earlier, which will mean millions changing to electric cars on what the AA called a "challenging" timetable.

"We are leading a global revolution in renewable energy," said the PM. However, former clean energy minister Ms O'Neill said Mr Johnson's "warm statements" were not matched by leadership. She said: "He has admitted to me that he doesn't really understand it. He doesn't really get it, is what he said."

On BBC Radio 4's Today programme she said that a Cabinet committee on the summit had not yet met.

"We have seen a huge lack of leadership and engagement. Our efforts are somewhere around League One. We are playing at Oxford United levels when we need to be Liverpool if we are going to do what the world needs us to," she said.

Ms O'Neill also revealed that COP 26 might have to move from Glasgow because of a row between Downing Street and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon. …

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