The Queen has criticised world leaders’ inaction on addressing the climate crisis, admitting she is “irritated” by individuals who “talk but don’t do”.
She made the remarks, which were picked up on a livestream, at the opening of the Welsh parliament in Cardiff on Thursday.
During a conversation with the Duchess of Cornwall and Elin Jones, the parliament’s presiding officer, the Queen referred to the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow starting on 31 October, which she is scheduled to attend along with other members of the royal family.
She said: “Extraordinary isn’t it. I’ve been hearing all about Cop … still don’t know who is coming. No idea.
“We only know about people who are not coming … It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.”
Jones replied: “Exactly. It’s a time for doing … and watching your grandson [Prince William] on the television this morning saying there’s no point going to space, we need to save the Earth.”
The Queen then smiled and said: “Yes, I read about it.”
Prince William had condemned billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos for pioneering space tourism instead of focusing on the environmental problems on Earth.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”
The Duke of Cambridge also expressed his indignation at the inaction on tackling the climate crisis earlier this week and raised his concerns about the Cop26 climate conference.
He told the BBC: “I think for Cop to communicate very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions are going to be is critical.
“We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action.”
Among the world leaders still not confirmed to attend the UN’s Cop26 conference are Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, Chinese president Xi Jinping, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro.
US president Joe Biden has confirmed that he will attend.
The Queen’s remarks mirror comments made by her son the Prince of Wales in an interview with the BBC earlier this week.
Prince Charles said he was worried that world leaders would “just talk” when they meet in Glasgow. “The problem is to get action on the ground,” he said.
The Prince of Wales also expressed surprise that Morrison had yet to confirm his attendance and believes that the summit in Glasgow is the “last chance saloon” for global action on the climate breakdown.