During an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions?’, Lord Deben said most countries were “very serious” about reaching net zero emissions by 2050, as they were “beginning to recognise just how serious climate change is.”
He noted, however, that “not all leaders are like that,” and said there was no indication that Australian PM Morrison had a proper program in place to reach that target, despite a commitment to do so being “squeezed out of him.”
Morrison has frequently been accused of not taking climate change seriously, though he warned he was not “here to impress people overseas” after climate activist Greta Thunberg linked severe Australian bushfires to “the climate crisis.”
Lord Deben also singled out Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – who Rolling Stone has referred to as “the world’s most dangerous climate denier” – and warned world leaders that if the international community doesn’t fight climate change, “then we really do risk the destruction of everything we’ve ever known.”
Lord Deben made the comments ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, which is set to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from Sunday.
Many world leaders will attend the conference, including US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others.
Morrison will also be in attendance following substantial pressure after he previously declined to attend.
Two major world leaders – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping – will not attend the conference.