Greta Thunberg’s climate change warnings need to motivate world leaders to deliver change at a major summit in Glasgow, a senior Conservative MP has insisted.
COP26 President Alok Sharma recalled feeling “really uncomfortable” when he first heard the Swedish activist speak in 2019.
But he said this was because the teenager had held a “mirror” up to his generation and highlighted why they needed to act.
Sharma’s comments came in conversation with Stanley Johnson, father of the Prime Minister, at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Thunberg, 18, last month mocked Boris Johnson by quoting parts of his speeches on climate change and adding “blah, blah, blah”.
Stanley Johnson declared he is “very pro-Greta”, adding: “I thought she did a fantastic job… she’s helped mobilise the young and it’s the young who are going to live through this.”
Looking ahead to COP26 in Glasgow next month, Johnson asked: “What about Greta, can we manage to get Greta somehow?”
Sharma replied: “Last week I was in Milan where we held a youth climate event and we had 400 youth delegates coming together from 200 countries and Greta spoke at this.
“It was the wake-up call for world leaders and the reality is that the decisions that this set of world leaders make is going to impact most on your children and your grandchildren and that’s why we need to get it right.
“Their message at this event was very clear: we need world leaders to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”
He added: “Greta Thunberg, I first heard her speak at the UN General Assembly in 2019, I was there together with the Prime Minister and I felt really uncomfortable.
“Not because of Greta speaking, but because of what she was saying – and she was holding a mirror up to my generation, our generation and that’s why COP26 we need it to be a success.
“We need the biggest emitters – the G20 is responsible for 80% of emissions – to step up to the plate and deliver in Glasgow.”