Boris Johnson has said that humanity is “5-1 down” at half-time against climate change - but COP26 gives us the opportunity to “equalise”.
The Prime Minister added that the summit in Glasgow was the “last opportunity” to present global temperature rises passing 1.5C.
World leaders are preparing to descend on Scotland where countries are under pressure to increase their ambition to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.
COP26 is last chance saloon on the environment
Boris Johnson said the human race had entered the last chance saloon on the environment.
He said the focus needed to be on securing agreements for countries to cut their carbon output and stop global warming exceeding the target amount to prevent the worst impacts.
Speaking to the i newspaper, Mr Johnson said: “Cop is really the last opportunity for the planet, humanity, to come together and keep alive the hope of restricting growth in temperatures to 1.5 degrees.
“We are not going to stop climate change any time soon, and we are certainly not going to stop it at Cop26.
“The most we can hope to do, and it is going to be incredibly difficult, is to restrict the growth by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees.”
Switching to a football analogy, the Conservative Party leader said that “if this was half-time, I’d say we were about 5-1 down” in the battle against climate change.
But he stressed that we “can do it”, adding: “We have the ability to equalise, to save the position and to come back, but it’s going to take a huge amount of effort by the British Government, by all our friends and partners around the world.”
Boris Johnson’s phone call with China’s President Xi
The Prime Minister predicted the talks would involve a “massively complicated negotiation of trade-offs between the developing world and richer countries” which could last for “days and days” in the bid to find an agreement at the two-week conference.
Mr Johnson revealed he had urged China’s President Xi Jinping to move faster on reducing his country’s carbon emissions.
The Prime Minister said he had a lengthy telephone call with Mr Xi ahead of Cop26 – which the Chinese leader is not attending – during which he raised the issue of when China’s emissions would peak.
A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com