The Prime Minister is expected to tell the UN’s General Assembly that the Muppet character was wrong when he sang ‘It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green’
Boris Johnson will cite Kermit the frog as proof that world leaders should come together to tackle climate change in a bizarre speech at the United Nations.
The Prime Minister is expected to tell the UN’s General Assembly that the Muppet character was wrong when he sang ‘It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green’.
He will insist “we have the choice before us” to join the fight against global warning ahead of the COP 26 summit in Glasgow in November.
Ahead of the speech, he joked with reporters that he was changing his name by deed poll to “Boreas” who is the Greek god of wind to show his support for renewable energy.
Mr Johnson is urging world leaders in New York they should treat the summit as a “turning point” and come together to “blow out the candles of a world on fire”.
He will tell them it was already “too late” to stop global temperatures rising but that strong action in Scotland could “restrain the growth” to 1.5 degrees, limiting the worst effects.
The PM will say signing up to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 would mean that mankind would “no longer be thickening that invisible quilt that is warming the planet” for the first time in centuries.
In a bizarre reference to The Muppets, he then adds: “We have nothing to fear and everything to gain from this green industrial revolution.
“When Kermit the frog sang ‘It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green’ I want you to know he was wrong – and he was also unnecessarily rude to Miss Piggy.
“We have the technology: we have the choice before us.”
Mr Johnson will say that Covid proved that “gloomy scientists” would be shown to be right on the devastation set to be caused by climate change.
He warns the planet was “not some indestructible toy” or “some bouncy plastic romper room against which we can hurl ourselves to our heart’s content”.
In 2019, Mr Johnson littered his UN speech with jokes about futuristic “hangover cures”, the threat of “pink-eyed Terminators”, “terrifying limbless chickens” and household devices that “monitor your nightmares, monitor your fridge”.
The PM’s bid to strike a deal in Glasgow received a boost this week after Joe Biden agreed to double the US contribution to a $100 billion fund to help developing countries cut emissions.
In a second boost, China announced it would halt the construction of new coal-fired power stations abroad.
The PM welcomed the move but urged Beijing to go further by also committing to stop building new coal capacity in China.
On his visit to the White House this week, he presented the US President with a signed copy of Tim Peake’s Hello, Is This Planet Earth? with an inscription reading: “I hope this book provides a reminder of what we’re fighting to save as our countries tackle climate change together.”
Mr Johnson’s eco-focus is a far cry from his past climate-sceptic views.
He admitted on Monday that “if you were to excavate some of my articles from 20 years ago you might find comments I made about climate change that weren’t entirely supportive of the current struggle, but the facts change and people change their minds and change their views and that’s very important too”.