The Queen has criticized the inaction of world leaders in the face of the climate crisis, admitting that she is “irritated” by people who “talk but don’t do”.
She made the remarks, which were echoed live, at the opening of the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff on Thursday.
In a conversation with the Duchess of Cornwall and Elin Jones, Speaker of Parliament, the Queen referred to the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow from October 31, which she is expected to attend along with other members of the royal family.
She said, “Amazing isn’t it. Heard about Cop … still don’t know who’s coming. No idea.
“We only know people who don’t come … It’s really annoying when they talk, but they don’t.”
Jones replied, “Exactly. It’s time to do … and watch your grandson [Prince William] on TV this morning saying there is no point in going to space, we have to save the Earth.
The Queen then smiled and said, “Yes, I read about it.”
Prince William had condemned billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos for pioneering space tourism instead of focusing on environmental issues on Earth.
“We need some of the greatest brains and minds in the world determined to try to fix this planet, not to try to find the next place to go and live.”
The Duke of Cambridge also expressed outrage at inaction in tackling the climate crisis earlier this week and raised concerns about the Cop26 climate conference.
He told the BBC: “I think Cop communicating very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions will be is essential.
“We can’t have smarter speech, smarter words but not enough action. “
Among the world leaders who have yet to be confirmed to attend the UN Cop26 conference are Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
US President Joe Biden has confirmed his attendance.
The Queen’s remarks mirror comments made by her son, the Prince of Wales, in a BBC interview earlier this week.
Prince Charles said he feared world leaders “only talk” when they meet in Glasgow. “The problem is to act on the ground,” he said.
The Prince of Wales has also expressed surprise that Morrison has yet to confirm his attendance and believes the Glasgow summit is the ‘last chance fair’ for global action on climate degradation.