Starmer: PM is ‘missing in action’ on climate crisis in run-up to Cop26

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been branded ‘missing in action’ in the run-up to the crucial Cop26 summit in Glasgow (Peter Cziborra/PA)
16:08pm, Wed 04 Aug 2021
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The Prime Minister is “missing in action” on efforts to tackle climate change ahead of a critical summit in Glasgow, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has claimed.

Sir Keir hit out at Boris Johnson, as he insisted the UK Government needed to show more “leadership” on the issue.

He added that the PM lacked the necessary skills in “diplomacy” to be able to bring people together and build a coalition of nations committed to reducing emissions.

Sir Keir spoke out during a two-day visit to Scotland which he said was “particularly focusing on the climate crisis”.

Sir Keir Starmer met Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar during his trip north. (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Speaking to PA Scotland, the Labour leader stated: “We’ve got Cop26 coming up here in Glasgow, a hugely important moment because Paris told us what we have got to do, Glasgow has got to answer we are going to do it.”

At the Paris summit in 2015, leaders from across the world agreed to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, and preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Sir Keir said: “The UK needs to show leadership, leadership from the Prime Minister, at the moment he is missing in action.

“We need the ability to build coalitions, to bring the world together, and we need to show we are keeping to our obligations.”

The Cop26 summit is taking place at the Scottish Events Campus in November. (Andrew Milligan/PA)

He argued skills in “international diplomacy and bringing people together in a coalition” were needed to achieve this, but added: “Those skills are missing with this Prime Minister.

“He’s not known for his diplomacy abroad, he’s not known for building coalitions, he’s actually known across the globe for his rule-breaking.”

Sir Keir continued: “The preparation between now and what happens in November in Glasgow is hugely important, we can’t miss this moment. The climate crisis is at a critical stage,”

Action over the next decade will be key in whether climate change  targets can be met, he added. “Everybody needs to come together to deliver here in Glasgow, it is a very important moment for us,” Sir Keir said.

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