When it was Johnson’s turn to address the summit, he said his approach to combating climate change was not “bunny hugging,” and he insisted that green policies could be an economic opportunity.
“This is not all about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny hugging,” Johnson said. “There’s nothing wrong with bunny hugging, but you know what I’m driving at. . . . This is about growth and jobs.”
Johnson’s message to the summit, he said, was: “cake, have, eat.”
It was classic Boris Johnson, a populist charmer who is always searching for a laugh, though not always getting one.
“The embarrassment of this just raised the earth’s temperature by another 0.5 degrees,” said Jonathan Lis, deputy director of the pro-European think tank British Influence in retweeting Johnson’s bunny-hugging comments.
While Johnson is renowned for his clownish antics — thought to be carefully cultivated — his government is also keen to show it is serious about tackling climate change and wants to brandish its green credentials ahead of an international climate summit, known as COP26, to be hosted by the United Kingdom.
Earlier this week, the British government announced it would reduce emissions by 78 percent by 2035, compared with 1990 levels. The target was welcomed by environmental groups, but they also pointed out that the British government is struggling to meet its existing, less ambitious climate goals.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Thunberg was testifying before a House subcommittee where she urged U.S. lawmakers to do more to dramatically lower carbon emissions and live up to pledges made in the Paris agreement.
“Either you do this, or you’re going to have to start to explain to your children, and the most affected people, why you are surrendering on the 1.5-degree target, giving up without even trying,” she said.
“To be honest,” she added, “I don’t believe for a second that you will actually do this.”
This isn’t the first time Thunberg has changed her Twitter bio to take a dig at world leaders.
After Thunberg was named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019, President Donald Trump jumped on Twitter and wrote, “So ridiculous,” adding: “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
In response, Thunberg updated her Twitter bio to read: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old-fashioned movie with a friend.”