Greta Thunberg claims it is a lie to say the UK is a climate leader

20 August 2021, 11:07 | Updated: 20 August 2021, 12:40

By Will Taylor

Greta Thunberg has claimed it is a "lie" that the UK is leading the way on climate change.

The young activist's comments followed the publication of a Unicef report which said a billion children are at an extremely high risk of climate change's effects.

Ms Thunberg said the UK is guilty of "creative carbon accounting" and claimed it is a "lie that the UK is a climate leader" at a Unicef press briefing.

Greta Thunberg has hit out at the government's claims
Greta Thunberg has hit out at the government's claims. Picture: Alamy

She said Britain was not taking aviation and shipping into account.

Her remarks come ahead of the Cop26 environment summit in Glasgow in November.

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A Unicef report signed by Ms Thunberg and others said: "Our futures are being destroyed, our rights violated, and our pleas ignored.

"Instead of going to school or living in a safe home, children are enduring famine, conflict and deadly diseases due to climate and environmental shocks.

"These shocks are propelling the world's youngest, poorest and most vulnerable children further into poverty, making it harder for them to recover the next time a cyclone hits, or a wildfire sparks."

It adds: "We cannot allow this injustice to continue. It is immoral that the countries that have done the least are suffering first and worst."

A Government spokesperson said: "We are proud of the strides we are already making in tackling climate change, cutting emissions by 44% over the past three decades.

"This figure was published as part of our thoroughly transparent annual reporting, and was measured in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) standards for reporting emissions.

"We stand by our assertion that we are a world leader in the fight against climate change, and are absolutely committed to meeting our future climate commitments. We were the first major economy to legislate to end our contribution to climate change by 2050, and our Net Zero Strategy – to be published shortly – will set out our plans to do even more."