British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said scientific advances can be used to battle climate change, a challenge which he described as being “far worse, far more destructive than coronavirus”.
Johnson made the remarks while speaking at the virtual Climate Ambition Summit co-convened by the United Nations, Britain, and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy.
The prime minister hailed a new era of “scientific optimism” as the year comes to the end.
“We are coming to the end of an extraordinary year with, I think, a sudden surge of scientific optimism, because of after barely 12 months of the pandemic we are seeing the vaccine going into the arms of the elderly and the vulnerable.”
“Together we can use scientific advances to protect our entire planet — our biosphere — against a challenge far worse, far more destructive even than the coronavirus,” he said. “And by the promethean power of our invention, we can begin to defend the Earth against the disaster of global warming.”
“At the same time, we can create thousands of jobs, millions of jobs as we collectively recover from the pandemic,” he added.
Earlier this month, Johnson announced that Britain will be committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 percent by the end of the decade compared to 1990 levels.
The target is supported by the Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, which will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs by 2030 and make significant strides in cutting emissions across energy, transport and buildings, according to a statement released by Downing Street.
The virtual Climate Ambition Summit, held exactly five years since the adoption of the landmark Paris Agreement, aims to make new commitments to tackling climate change and delivering on the Paris Agreement ahead of the next UN Climate Conference, COP26, which will be hosted by Britain in November next year in Glasgow.
The summit brought together UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and more than 70 world leaders from such countries as Britain, France, Germany, China and Canada, as well as businesses and civil society.
Ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow, China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan in southwest China, in May, 2021.