The Queen has criticized the inaction of world leaders to address the climate crisis, admitting that she is “irritated” by people who “speak but do not.”
She made the comments, which were picked up on a live broadcast, at the opening of the Welsh parliament in Cardiff on Thursday.
During a conversation with the Duchess of Cornwall and Elin Jones, the Speaker of Parliament, the Queen referred to the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow from October 31, which she is planning to attend along with other members of the royal family.
She said, “Extraordinary, isn’t it? I’ve heard all about Cop … I still don’t know who’s coming. No idea.
“We only know about people who don’t come … It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t.”
Jones replied, “Exactly. It’s a time to do … and take care of your grandson [Prince William] on television this morning saying there is no point in going into space, we have to save the Earth. “
The Queen then smiled and said, “Yes, I read it.”
Prince William had condemned billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos for pioneering space tourism rather than focusing on Earth’s environmental problems.
“We need some of the best brains and minds in the world focused on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go live.”
The Duke of Cambridge also expressed outrage at the inaction to address the climate crisis earlier this week and raised concerns about the COP26 climate conference.
He told the BBC: “I think that Cop communicating very clearly and honestly what the problems are and what the solutions will be is essential.
“We can’t have smarter speech, smart words but not enough action.”
Among the world leaders who have not yet been 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 president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.
US President Joe Biden has confirmed that he will attend.
The queen’s comments mirror comments made by her son, the Prince of Wales, in an interview with the BBC earlier this week.
Prince Charles said he was concerned that world leaders would “just talk” when they meet in Glasgow. “The problem is acting on the ground,” he said.
The Prince of Wales also expressed surprise that Morrison has not yet confirmed his attendance and believes that the summit in Glasgow is the “hall of last chance” for global action on climate collapse.