Ian Collins clashes with XR member over China's role in climate change

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The United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, is less than three months away from being held in Glasgow, Scotland. And the Prime Minister is said to be feeling the heat from all sides. Campaigners are demanding that he set out details of how Britain will hit Net-Zero emissions by 2050, while a group of about 30 Tory MPs are increasingly concerned about the impact on the cost of living for their constituents.

The Government is hoping the pivotal event will help to secure a global deal that keeps alive hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5C after a damning report from the IPCC.

Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, told Express.co.uk he has “mixed feelings” about the Government’s own policies.

He added: “On the positive side, this Government has been very quick to move on setting ambitious long-term targets and even medium-term targets.

“Our targets for 2030 are ambitious when compared to other countries.

“In some ways, we are making good progress, if you look at what is happening to our power system – the way we generate electricity – it has shifted very quickly and is a lot less carbon [focused].

“But in other areas where there are questions over whether our Government is doing enough to really help people improve their homes, or adopt to different kinds of vehicles.

“I guess on the overall picture, quite good, but on the detailed projects there’s a lot more to do and that’s a bit of a problem ahead of COP26.”

The expert, who is also Director at the UK Energy Research Centre, said failure to address issues in the UK will put Mr Johnson in a “weaker position” to negotiate with others.

He added: “Boris has published his Ten Point Plan, but there’s not enough detail about how you really help people and business to change quickly enough.

“The IPCC has made very clear that, if we don’t do this, everybody loses.”

Prof Watson then handed Mr Johnson a three-point plan to get things back on track.

“Short term I would say double down on support for renewables that are cheap and are working.

“I would call for a real plan for homes, upgrading heatings in homes.

“I would really try to address the concerns for people, particularly on costs and come up with a plan to help them.

“Thirdly, I would say we have really made progress to shift to electric vehicles, but there is jeopardy there so, again, let’s get that charging infrastructure momentum going.

“Those are the first three I would give him.”

Last week, it was reported that Prince Charles will attend Cop26 in Glasgow in person.

His address is expected during the “world leaders summit” at the start of the two-week conference.

The prince also attended Cop21 in Paris in 2015 when he said climate change was the greatest threat facing humanity.

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