Johnson Tells World Leaders Climate Targets a Matter of ‘Will’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said meeting global targets for cutting climate emissions is simply a matter of “will” and the U.K. sees “no contradiction” between global economic growth and “protecting our planet.”

“There is no reason why humanity should not prosper and safeguard our planet at the same time,” Johnson told the Qatari Economic Forum in Doha in a video address on Tuesday. “We have the ingenuity, and the technology to achieve but all the remains to do is to summon the will.”

Johnson was speaking after the summit of Group of Seven industrialized nations he hosted in southwest England this month fell short of ambitious targets to cut emissions. The prime minister is trying to build momentum ahead of a key round of United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland in October -- an event he wants to use to bolster the U.K.’s credentials.

The U.K. has cut carbon emissions by 44% over the last 30 years even as the economy grew by 78%, Johnson said. He added that while nearly a decade ago about 40% of U.K. electricity came from coal, the figure in 2021 is just 2% -- with the government aiming to eliminate its use altogether by 2024.

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