Idris Elba: 'people might be irritated' at celebs discussing climate change

6 November 2021, 13:12 | Updated: 6 November 2021, 13:13

Idris Elba spoke at Cop26 about small farmers and the impact of climate change on food supply.
Idris Elba spoke at Cop26 about small farmers and the impact of climate change on food supply. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Actor Idris Elba addressed the Cop26 summit earlier today, and in an impassioned speech said he understands why "people might be a little irritated" to see celebrities weighing in on climate change.

The film star said he believes the conversation around food supply and climate change must be amplified, adding: "one thing I’ve got is a big mouth."

He discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the supply chain, especially on families in the west who were forced to queue for food due to food shortages.

Elba said: "The supply chain was damaged.

"But the supply chain is going to be damaged if we don't figure out what we're to do around climate change and what it's doing to our supply chains.

"That image of all those lines of people in LA, lining down with families waiting for food is a reality for us in the future if we don’t find ways to tackle this issue now.

"That's what I'm doing here."

Read more: Climate protests - live updates as tens of thousands march for the environment

According to Idris, 80% of the food the world eats is produced by small-scale farmers, and it is these farmers who are seeing lower crop yields due to climate change.

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"We don't recognise that when we go into Sainsbury's or Marks & Spencers," he said.

"And one day we’re going to go to Sainsbury’s or Marks&Spencers and the food’s not going to be there.

"So for perspective, that's why this needs to be amplified."

Idris Elba drew attention to younger activists from around the world who do not get to "be in the room" where decision about climate change are being made.

Praising Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate change activist, he said: "Leadership isn't about age."

Protests are expected in Glasgow and across the world today by climate activists. Idris Elba is expected to attend.

For live updates, see our live blog.