The head of MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, said on Sunday that the UK has started “green spying” on the world’s largest industrialized countries to make sure they are keeping their climate crisis pledges.
Richard Moore told the Times Radio that the climate crisis is the “foremost international foreign policy agenda item for this country and the planet.”
“Where people sign up to commitments on climate change, it is perhaps our job to make sure that actually what they are really doing reflects what they have signed up to,” he said.
“As somebody used to say - 'trust, but verify',” he said. “On climate change, where you need everyone to come on board and to play fair, then occasionally just check to make sure they are.’"
The UK will host the COP26 climate change conference later this year.
Moore’s comments come after US President Joe Biden hosted a virtual summit in which he rallied world leaders to make the most of this “decisive decade." The US would take the lead, with Biden pledging the US would halve its emissions by 2030.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also spoke at the virtual summit, announcing a “world-leading” target to cut UK emissions by 78% on 1990 levels by 2035, and by 68% by 2030 – the most ambitious target among the world’s major economies.
By Karim El-Bar in London