At a virtual summit on climate change on Thursday, Johnson said tackling the issue was “vital” and then appeared to malfunction and start talking about bunnies.
He said: “It’s vital for all of us to show that this is not all about some expensive politically correct green act of bunny hugging or however you want to put it, there’s nothing wrong with bunny hugging, you know what I’m driving at.”
His comments came after he praised US President Joe Biden for pledging to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.
And the UK government earlier this week announced its own plans to cut carbon emissions by 78% compared to 1990 levels by 2035.
Amid the confusion, the climate activist changed her Twitter bio to “bunny hugger” in an apparent bid to mock the Prime Minister.
The climate activist changed her Twitter bio after the PM’s remarks
It appeared Johnson may have been inspired by the late Duke of Edinburgh, who – in a 2011 interview with the BBC – said he was not a “bunny hugger” when asked if he would describe himself as green. However, it is also likely that the Prime Minister has got confused with the term tree hugger - which is more commonly used to colloquially describe environmentalists.
It is not the first time Thunberg has used for Twitter bio as a site to mock politicians; she famously changed it to “a teenager working on her anger management problem” after Donald Trump suggested she had one, and also described herself as “a kind but poorly informed teenager” to reflect Putin’s description of her in a 2019 conference in Moscow.