Will Boris Johnson really let the Isle of Wight Council approve oil and gas drilling next week, only days before he welcomes 120 heads of state in Glasgow for global talks to address the climate emergency?

Is this what Boris Johnson wants — a new onshore oil drilling site approved in the middle of crucial agricultural land while Joe Biden, Pope Francis and David Attenborough are packing their suitcases to head to the UK?

Is this what he will tell her majesty, the Queen, is his version of ‘getting serious’ on the climate crisis?

Approval of these plans for new hydrocarbon exploration will devastate the Isle of Wight countryside, tourism economy and fragile aquifers — and they will illuminate Mr Johnson for the climate charlatan that he is, right on cue as the whole world is watching.

The PM cannot blame our local councillors — the Isle of Wight Minerals and Waste Plan is yet to be devised, and so all decisions must be based on his own government’s National Planning Guidance.

He could claim that, after weeks of queues at petrol stations, we are in dire need of additional sources of petrol — except there are only an estimated 2.6million barrels under the Arreton site which (based on 10-40 per cent recoverable) would meet a mere 2.5 days of current UK demand.

He is likely to continue to utter, as Greta Thunberg noted, “Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah.”

But wouldn’t it set a bold, courageous tone for these critical COP26 talks if Boris Johnson stood up, right now, and declared a moratorium on all new hydrocarbon exploration in the UK?

Starting with the Isle of Wight?

That’s the sort of start to this climate conference that the world desperately needs.

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