Top Tory minister says he may move to vegan diet to help save the planet


A top Tory minister has said he could go vegan to save the planet as he said societal changes would be needed hit the UK’s climate targets.

Business Secretary Kwasi Karteng said he had reduced his meat consumption and could end up ditching animal products entirely.

He told Bloomberg TV: “I’m certainly reducing my meat consumption, not only for environmental reasons but also for health reasons.

“I’m eating a lot more fish than I ever did before and maybe I can move to a full vegan diet at some point.”

In another interview, Mr Kwarteng said “societal change” – such as going vegan – would help towards hitting the target of slashing emissions by 78% by 2035, rather than the need for changes to the law.

His comments came as Boris Johnson said the climate fight was not just about “bunny hugging” in a rambling speech to world leaders at a virtual summit convened by US President Joe Biden.



President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate
President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate

Mr Biden kicked off the summit by announcing an ambitious new target to slash US greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030.

He said scientists underlined “this is the decisive decade” to stave off disaster by keeping temperature rises to 1.5C.

Mr Biden said: “This is a moral imperative, it’s an economic imperative. It’s a moment of peril, but also a moment of extraordinary possibility.

“Time is short, but I believe we can do this, and I believe we will do this.”

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Mr Johnson hailed the US president’s “game-changing” announcement, and praised raising him “for returning the United States to the front rank of the fight against climate change” after Donald Trump’s resistance to tackling the issue.



Boris Johnson said battling climate change was not about 'bunny hugging' in an address to a virtual climate summit
Boris Johnson said battling climate change was not about ‘bunny hugging’ in an address to a virtual climate summit

The UK is aiming to cut emissions by 78% on 1990 levels by 2035, which builds on plans to cut pollution by 68% by 2030, the most ambitious among leading economies.

But campaigners have warned that urgent action is needed to deliver on the pledges and cut pollution from homes, transport, industry and power supplies.

In a bizarre speech to world leaders, the Prime Minister said: “I’m not saying any of this is going to be easy and there is obviously going to be a political challenge.

“It’s very important to go back to the original words of President Biden, because it’s vital for all of us to show that this is not about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny-hugging.

“You know what I’m driving at, friends and colleagues, this is about growth and jobs.”

He said the world could build back greener from the pandemic, adding: “Cake have eat, is my message to you.”

Campaigners warned that targets alone would not be enough and said the British Government needed to deliver.

Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, Kate Blagojevic, said: “This summit has seen more targets than an archery competition. And while this momentum is important, much more global ambition is still needed if we are to stand a chance of meeting necessary climate goals.

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“Targets, on their own, won’t lead to emissions cuts. That takes real policy and money. And that’s where the whole world is still way off course.”

She added: “Boris Johnson may walk away from this summit pretty pleased, with the UK still on top of the international league table when it comes to rhetorical goals. But his government is still entertaining the idea of multiple airport expansions, more oil and gas drilling and new coal mines.

“It still doesn’t have a credible plan to decarbonise our homes and has earmarked tens of billions of pounds for new road building.

“We’ll need to see one heck of a change in direction on domestic policies if we’re to have any chance of delivering on these commitments – and convincing the rest of the world to do the same.”





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