Boris Johnson Told Lack of Climate Action Puts COP26 in Jeopardy

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson risks failure when he hosts key climate change talks this year, unless he delivers on promises to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution, an independent government watchdog said.

Two years after the U.K. government enshrined in law a target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, strategies covering everything from transport to home heating have been scrapped, delayed, or fell short when they were published, the Climate Change Committee said Thursday.

As a result, Johnson’s promises may ring hollow with other leaders when they convene in Glasgow, Scotland, later this year for a round of global talks known as COP26, said John Gummer, chairman of the committee. As COP26 president, the U.K. will need to encourage other nations to set their own mid-century decarbonization goals, putting the world on a path to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius.

Other countries “want us to say and do the same thing. And if we do that, then I think we can make a real success of COP26,” said Gummer, who is also a member of Parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords. “If we don’t, then it seems to me that it puts the whole process into jeopardy.”