Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah among hundreds of athletes to warn Prime Minister that the 'acute threat from climate change' threatens future Olympic and Paralympic games
More than 300 British Olympians and Paralympians have joined the barrage of calls for the government to deliver a green recovery, today urging the Prime Minister to take urgent action to tackle climate change in the wake of the pandemic.
Paula Radcliffe, Mo Farah, and Steve Redgrave are among the top athletes to have penned a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging for a "truly green approach" to the economic response to the coronavirus crisis.
"With the COP26 and G7 presidencies next year, the UK has a golden opportunity to show international leadership on the most important issue facing humankind," they wrote. "We can sit timidly in the pack, pretending that we have no role to play in the unfolding race. Or, like the athletes we would have watched this summer, we can race to win."
The Olympians warned that future Olympic and Paralympic Games were under "acute threat" from escalating climate impacts. This year's events - set to take place in Tokyo - were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, while more broadly sporting venues around the world have faced growing disruption from extreme weather and heatwaves.
The open letter has been published as Johnson gears up to give the UK's annual address to the UN General Assembly on Saturday, just days after China's Xi Jinping used the podium to announce plans to signficantly boost the nation's climate ambition.
Johnson is set to use the platform to provide more details on the government's preparations for the UN COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow next year and reiterate the government's commitment to climate action.
The Prime Minister is also widely tipped to be preparing a major speech for the autumn on how the government intends to accelerate the UK's transition to net zero emissions and deliver its much-touted green recovery.
Reports have suggested the government is poised to pull forward the phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2030, while Ministers are also due to publish a wide-ranging Energy White Paper and unveil plans to scale up clean tech R&D and deployment in a host of areas.
The anticipated wave of new climate policy announcements comes amidst growing criticism from business and environmental groups, who have urged Ministers to bring forward an overarching net zero strategy that can create green jobs and put the country back on track to meet its medium and long term emissions goals.
Billionaire offers glimpse of EV firm's efforts to develop cheaper, more efficient battery cells at Tesla's AGM
Carbon tax could generate £27bn by 2030 that could be invested into Covid-19 recovery efforts, emerging green technologies, and cushioning against any rise in household bills, campaign group argues
Trade body RenewableUK outlines a series of policy recommendations to enable the UK to become a global leader in the development of green hydrogen
An overwhelming majority of businesses believe they would benefit from the changes required for net zero, according to npower's Anthony Ainsworth