Upon arrival at the meeting of powerful world leaders, where climate change is set to be high on the agenda, Johnson said he would be “asking my fellow leaders to rise to the challenge of beating the pandemic and building back better, fairer and greener” causing many to question why the Prime Minister had flown somewhere accessible by train.
Labour’s shadow environment secretary and apparent joker Luke Pollard labelled the move “plane stupid”.
“There’s no train line from Cornwall to Washington or Tokyo but there is to London. The prime minister should have taken the train, not got a plane,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lib Dem climate spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse said: “At a global summit with climate change at the forefront of the agenda and with the UK hosting a climate change conference in the autumn the Prime Minister’s choice to fly to Cornwall from London is laughably out of touch.”
The plane journey took 35 minutes and produced five times the amount of greenhouse gases as the same journey would have produced by train, government emission records showed.
Meanwhile, the G7 summit will prioritise creating “a greener, more prosperous future”, its website says.
“We will protect the future of our planet by moving to net-zero and providing financial support for developing countries to do the same.”
People thought the photo op was ridiculous and Johnson duly received a social media backlash from a range of people including Labour MPs and it even triggered a moment of apparent political unity between Owen Jones and Piers Morgan:
Nevertheless, speaking to the press Johnson defended his journey and claimed planes aren’t that bad, a hot take if we’ve ever seen one.
He said: “If you attack my arrival by plane, I respectfully point out the UK is actually in the lead in developing sustainable aviation fuel, and one of the points in the 10 point plan of our green industrial revolution, is to get to ‘jet zero’ as well.”
In November, Glasgow will host the climate change conference COP26.
We look forward to seeing how Johnson turns up to that.