VideoBritain’s Queen Elizabeth II made a big impression with her speech at the Glasgow Climate Summit. Parts of her speech revolve around the world.
The British head of state called on the world leaders present to “rise above the politics of the moment”. In other words, not to prioritize national interests, but to reach a common agreement to actually combat climate change.
Elizabeth addressed conference participants in a pre-recorded address Monday evening. The 95-year-old was expected to attend the meeting in Glasgow, but had to cancel the trip to Scotland after doctors advised her to rest and not travel. Elizabeth recently underwent a medical and spent the night in a London hospital – her first hospital stay in years.
Her video message reached COP26, which was filmed last week at Windsor Castle. The Queen was impressed by the stress that world leaders at the Glasgow summit could “achieve real statesmanship” by delivering on their promises to tackle the effects of climate change. What leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they can do to the people who live tomorrow: This is called statecraft. I hope this conference will prove to be one of those rare occasions when everyone will have a chance to rise above the political moment and show true statesmanship.”
Elizabeth, who hopes to be 100 in five years, has made a heartfelt plea to posterity. “None of us will live forever. But we do this not for ourselves, but for our children and our children. I wish you all the best in this important task.” Earlier, the Queen was less diplomatic about world leaders in an unguarded moment. And I heard her say, “It’s really annoying when they talk but do nothing.”
In a tribute to Prince Philip, “my late dear husband”, the Queen said she was happy to welcome delegates because the environment was a topic close to Philip’s heart. In a rare public expression of sentiment, she said she “could not be prouder” that Philip’s environmental efforts continue through the work of her eldest son, Crown Prince Charles, and son Prince William.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday that the Queen was “in very good shape” during their regular weekly meeting.
The speech by British nature documentary maker Sir David Attenborough, also 95, was at least controversial. He explained to summit participants once again the fragility of nature and how dependent people are on a healthy planet. “The stability on which we all depend is at risk,” the icon said. We must rewrite our history to turn this tragedy into a victory. After all, we are the greatest problem solvers on earth. We now understand this problem. We know how to stop the number from rising and vice versa. We must stop carbon dioxide emissions this decade.”
Prime Minister Rutte then said he found Attenborough’s nomination “impressive”.
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