Climate Action

Earth Day: UK Prime Minister warns world leaders not to ‘throw away chance to preserve our planet’

On Earth Day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to warn world leaders not to ‘throw away chance to preserve our planet’.

  • 22 April 2021
  • Rachel Cooper

On Earth Day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to warn world leaders not to ‘throw away chance to preserve our planet’.

The world has to turn the tide on climate change this decade or risk being remembered as the generation that failed to protect our planet, the Prime Minister will say at the Climate Leaders Summit today.

He will address the opening session of the virtual summit, which is hosted by US President Joe Biden and aims to secure commitments on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, shifting to renewable energy and climate finance for developing countries.

This week, the UK set into law the world’s most ambitious climate change target, pledging to cut carbon emissions by 78 percent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

The Prime Minister is calling on global leaders and businesses meeting today to match that level of ambition ahead of COP26 if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Speaking at the Climate Leaders Summit on Earth Day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say: "The UK has shown that it’s possible to slash emissions while growing the economy, which makes question of reaching net zero not so much technical as political. If we actually want to stop climate change, then this must be the year in which we get serious about doing so. Because the 2020s will be remembered either as the decade in which world leaders united to turn the tide, or as a failure."

"So let’s come to Kunming in October and Glasgow in November armed with ambitious targets and the plans required to reach them. And let the history books show that it was this generation of leaders that possessed the will to preserve our planet for generations to come."

The US-hosted Climate Leaders Summit, taking place on Earth Day, is an important moment to build momentum on the road to the COP Biodiversity Summit in Kunming in October and the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.

The theme for this years Earth day is 'Restore Our Earth™', which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.

The theme rejects the notion that mitigation or adaptation are the only ways to address climate change. Earth Day urge that it is up to each and every one of us to Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. 

More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Find out how you can be involved in Earh Day 2021 here.

Interested in finding out what the banking sector is doing to transition to a low carbon economy? Join us on Earth Day, April 22nd, for Part 4 of the Sustainable Investment Forum Europe by registering here.