Speaking to CNN on the sidelines of talks in Glasgow, the British prime minister expressed a grim tone on climate emergencies, saying: “I think you have to be gloomy and doomed until we fix it.”
Johnson welcomed some of the early agreements reached at the summit, including a pact to reduce deforestation, but said the world needs to be humbled before the “huge” climate crisis. He also said his government is committed to reducing its dependence on coal, despite the possibility of controversial opening of a new mine in north-west England.
“I don’t want more coal and our government doesn’t want more coal. We’re going to do what we can by law,” Johnson said.
Johnson sparked outrage on the first day of the summit when he was portrayed without a mask next to television program veteran and environmental activist Attenborough.
Asked about the controversy, Johnson stumbled before saying, “I wore masks indoors with people I don’t normally talk to … it’s up to people to judge if they’re at a reasonable distance from someone … that is our approach. ”
Johnson also sought to defend his government’s widely criticized handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying he had no plans to impose further measures, including an obligation to wear masks, despite the recent rise in cases and deaths in the UK.
The Prime Minister said that while he “monitored the data all the time” and that “we need to remain modest given the nature of what the disease can do”, he believes that at present “we do not see any reason to deviate from the plan we are implementing. ”
He further welcomed the introduction of the vaccine in the UK and said the UK was “starting to deal with Covid as part of our lives.”