When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went to Great Britain United Nations Climate Change Conference He appeared at the party for the second time in Glasgow on Wednesday, and he has internalized an important lesson: He targeted the train to the Scottish venue instead of traveling by air.
The irrepressible Johnson tried to turn his role as the host of the summit into a high-profile shift under the spotlight of the world. He enthusiastically called on world leaders to make a comprehensive commitment to save the planet at the COP26 meeting that ended on Friday, and he received some praise.
But in a typical Johnson style, the 57-year-old prime minister also made gaffes in the process-including taking a chartered flight back to London after delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the conference last week.News reports appeared quickly and he had Hurry back to meet again The old friend was in the luxurious private club that night.
Exacerbating Johnson’s dilemma is a political scandal that largely overlaps with the two-week climate rally. The controversy involved payments to Johnson Conservative MPs in violation of lobbying rules, sparking many unflattering newspaper headlines, many of which contained variations of the word “sleaze.”
“I really believe that the UK is not a corrupt country, nor do I believe that our institutions are corrupt,” he told reporters when asked about these anomalies in Glasgow on Wednesday.
Scandals are not uncommon in British politics, but this incident coincides with Johnson-he likes to compare himself with the iconic British World War II leader Winston Churchill-hoping to appear in the whole world in his most politician manner. In front of the audience of the world. The problematic lawmaker Owen Patterson resigned, but before Johnson was condemned for trying to protect him from accountability.
Before the Glasgow meeting, Johnson was eager to telegraph that, despite Brexit, the United Kingdom is still a world power. The chaotic divorce with the EUAnd showed that the country is beginning to recover from the devastation of the pandemic.
“We will use the freedom of Brexit to do things in different ways,” he said at a party meeting last month, at which he touted a new dynamic “global Britain” and his own “dare to be a government”. “Is a role model for others.
“People all over the world admire the history and traditions of this country,” he said.
But this is a season of setbacks.Coronavirus infection reappears Worrying levelLast month, when panic buying, driver shortages and supply chain issues led to long queues and empty fuel pumps, many Britons felt angry and frustrated, forcing the government to bring in military personnel to help transport fuel.
“Entering winter will be a challenge,” said Joseph Silke, public relations manager at independent think tank Bright Blue. “There is a fuel crisis; COVID is getting worse.”
Although Johnson has little real say in the outcome of the climate conference Draft agreement distributed by the UN Climate Agency It was criticized on Wednesday for not doing enough to stop greenhouse gas emissions. The working draft calls on signatories to phase out coal use and stop subsidies for oil and natural gas, but there is almost no rigid deadline or mechanism to implement commitments.
Before the meeting, the Prime Minister made no secret of his hope that Glasgow will become the slogan for the world to unite firmly to slow climate change, and has a reputation commensurate with the Paris Climate Conference six years ago.
“This country will host the summit of our generation in Glasgow, when the determination of the world will be tested,” he told the faithful of the Conservative Party.
Regardless of whether the meeting in Scotland is seen as a landmark effort to deal with serious environmental threats, analysts and even some political critics have said that Johnson is commendable for pushing the United Kingdom to play a leading role on climate change.
“Net zero emissions are clearly the prime minister’s passion,” said Mike Brewer of the Economics Think Tank Resolution Foundation, referring to the balance between generating and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
However, for many people, this meeting is a reminder Johnson’s polarized political style.
Even in the most painful moments in the country, the prime minister sometimes finds it difficult to evoke a sense of solemnity. But Bronwen Maddox, director of the Institute of Government, an independent think tank, said his inaugural speech at the Glasgow conference showed a truly clear purpose.
Maddox said that his speech was “very clear, not fabricated-but saying:’The world is running out of time,'”. “Given that he is so optimistic, it is very shocking to make him give such a shocking speech-I am not talking alarmist, but issuing such a shocking warning to the world.”
“Time is passing,” the prime minister told the rally gloomily, citing an “invisible, suffocating blanket of carbon dioxide” sweeping the earth.
But as Johnson often happens, behaviors praised as appropriate seriousness will soon be overshadowed by some hypocritical behavior.At the meeting on the same day, news photos showed that he seemed to be ignoring the coronavirus regulations and sitting next to famous environmentalists and broadcasters without a mask. David Attenborough, Who is 95, is considered a national treasure.
The prime minister’s defender pointed to other photos taken at about the same time. These photos showed him wearing a mask, or Attenborough not wearing a mask, but Johnson did not help himself in a subsequent CNN interview. He seemed to imply that he felt There is no need to wear a mask around people he knows socially.
Long-time observers of Johnson’s political trajectory have expressed a certain degree of skepticism about whether populist leaders like him would insist on strict climate change measures if they believe that his reputation is actually threatened.
For example, Andrew Gimson, a Johnson biographer, said that the prime minister told Britons that household energy consumption patterns must undergo major changes-but he also wrote a column for a tabloid newspaper, gladly guaranteeing that “the boiler police “No” Don’t knock on the door to check if people are using inefficient water heaters.
“This is a kind of’cake doctrine’-you can eat cake or you can eat it,” Jimson said. “You can own your planet, or you can have a warm home.”
Special correspondent Boyle reports from London, and special writer Kim reports from Washington.