Boris Johnson said he was “very worried” that COP26 would not secure the necessary agreements to tackle climate change, as he admitted it was a “touch and go”.
The Prime Minister, responding to questions from schoolchildren around the world, said: “This summit is going to be very, very difficult.
“I’m very worried that it could go wrong and we might not get the chords we need and it’s touch and go, it’s very, very difficult, but I think it can be done.”
PM attacks Coca-Cola as UN scientists issue stern warning about our “way of life” – Latest COP26
Johnson has said the UK has “massively” reduced CO2 and coal emissions and he believes the COP26 goals can be achieved.
He added that the world needs “as many people as possible” to reach net zero by mid-century.
The PM admitted that there was a lot of “peer pressure” at the summit with countries following the example of friends and neighbors, but reiterated: “It is very, very far from clear that we will get the progress we need ”.
He praised Australia’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050 and said it was “actually very difficult” for the country as it is heavily dependent on coal.
“They did a heroic thing, the Australians, to keep this commitment,” he told the children as he appeared alongside WWF UK Executive Director Tanya Steele.
He added: “I hope they will be joined by many more countries from this region for the COP summit.”
Ministers are under pressure to prevent a opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria and Mr Johnson expressed one of his strongest objections to the project to date, saying: “We don’t want to support new coal mines, but what we want to do is continue our progress towards a future carbon free. “
The prime minister, although he said he would not, also called Coca-Cola a shame as one of 12 companies “producing the bulk of the plastics in the world”.
“Big, famous drink companies that you might know, but I won’t name them. I don’t know why, but I won’t name them,” he said.
“Coca-Cola, for example, and others, who are responsible for producing huge amounts of plastic, and we have to get away from it and we have to find other ways to package and sell our products.”
Mr Johnson said recycling “doesn’t work” because he has stressed the need to reduce the amount of material used.
Ms Steele said everyone should reduce and reuse and “do some recycling”.
She also called for “bringing back nature” as she said only 3% of the planet is left in the wild.
The prime minister said it was “so sad” and joked: “We could feed some humans animals”.
COP26 is being held in Glasgow from this Sunday and the UK government is hoping that many world leaders will attend and engage in policies to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed on Monday that she would attend the event.
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