Boris Johnson tells kids 'feed people to animals' in bizarre climate change joke

The Prime Minister also said we should ‘encourage cows to stop burning’ as he laid out his plans to save the planet ahead of COP26 to a group of children aged 8 to 12

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Johnson suggests ‘feeding humans to animals’ in press conference

Boris Johnson today urged young children to “feed human beings to animals” in a bizarre joke about rebalancing nature.

The Prime Minister made the eyebrow-raising comment at press conference for kids aged eight to 12 in his Downing Street media room.

Speaking ahead of next week’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, the PM admitted he is “very worried” the climate change gathering will not convince 197 nations to keep global warming to less than 1.5C in the future.

But he also made some more off-the-cuff comments – saying “we have to encourage cows to stop burping” so they emit less methane.

And the PM interjected when WWF UK chief executive Tanya Steele, who was co-hosting the press conference, encouraged him to start “rewilding our oceans”.

Mr Johnson said: “We could feed some of the human beings to the animals, that would, that would be…” before tailing off.

Mr Johnson said: “We could feed some of the human beings to the animals, that would, that would be…” before tailing off


10 Downing Street / YouTube)

Barely skipping a beat, Ms Steele replied: “We could have a vote later and ask if there’s any candidates.

“But certainly we need to take our responsibilities seriously and help bring nature back because when you give nature the chance it will recover, it regenerates very quickly.”

Asked about the comments later, the PM’s official spokesman said: “I think most people took that in the nature in which it was intended – not to be taken seriously.”

Mr Johnson chose to host a press conference with children ahead of “perhaps the most important summit that this country has had in our lifetimes”.

World leaders will begin gathering on Sunday for the two-week summit, whose goal is to agree new climate targets to “keep 1.5 alive” – in other words, ensure global temperature rises can be kept under 1.5C.

Ms Steele told the children’s press conference: “I think we need to bring nature back… Our planet, 97% of the mass of mammals on this planet is humans and our animals, our domestic animals.

“Just 3% is left for the wild.”

The Prime Minister gave the press conference to children aged eight to 12


10 Downing Street / YouTube)

The Prime Minister, answering questions from schoolchildren in Downing Street, said: “We need as many people as possible to go to net zero so that they are not producing too much carbon dioxide by the middle of the century.

“Now, I think it can be done. It’s going to be very, very tough, this summit. And I’m very worried, because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need.

“It’s touch and go.”

The PM added it was “far from clear” whether Cop26 would deliver the progress needed to tackle climate change.

There was a lot of “peer pressure” at the summit, with countries following the example of friends and neighbours, he said.

Boris Johnson’s press conference with Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF UK


10 Downing Street / YouTube)

But “it’s very, very far from clear that we will get the progress that we need”, he warned.

The PM also said recycling plastic “doesn’t work” as he stressed the need to reduce the amount of the material that is used.

And he named and shamed Coca-Cola as being one of 12 corporations “producing the overwhelming bulk of the world’s plastics”.

The Prime Minister told a press conference with children in Downing Street: “Recycling isn’t the answer. Recycling… it doesn’t begin to address the problem.”

He said “the only answer” was “we’ve all got to cut down on our use of plastic”.

Appearing alongside Mr Johnson, WWF UK’s chief executive Tanya Steele said: “We have to reduce, we have to reuse – I do think we need to do a little bit of recycling, PM, and have some system to do so.”

But Mr Johnson said: “It doesn’t work.”

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