The Archbishop of Canterbury today issued a grovelling apology after saying failure to get a climate change deal would mean a worse ‘genocide’ than committed by the Nazis.

Justin Welby said he was sorry for ‘offence caused to Jews’ after making the extraordinary remarks at the COP26 summit.  

One of the interviews Mr Welby gave to broadcasters was that he warned the BBC leaders that they would be ‘cursed if’ they don’t agree on climate change within the next two weeks.

He stated that failure to act would lead to a genocide of an inexorable scale, as Hitler’s regime did. 

He tweeted to try and defuse the backlash before the footage was even air.

He wrote: “I unambiguously apologise for using words to emphasize the gravity situation facing us at COP26,” 

Justin Welby said he was sorry for 'offence caused to Jews' after making the remarks in an interview at the COP26 summit

After making the comments in an interview at COP26, Justin Welby stated that he was sorry for the ‘offence caused by Jews’

Mr Welby tweeted saying sorry for the remarks before the interview had even aired. 'I unequivocally apologise for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at COP26,' he said.

He tweeted his regret for the comments made before the interview aired. He said, “I unambiguously apologise for using the words when trying to emphasize the gravity of the situation at COP26,”

“It’s wrong to make comparisons to the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and I’m sorry to the Jews for the offense caused by these words. 

In an interview with Mr Welby, he stated that people will speak highly of them (current world leader) than they do of the politicians in the 30s. He said that this would be because it would kill people around the world for many generations. We will have no way to prevent it.

He was asked if that meant people would allow genocide to occur, and he answered: “It will allow a genocide at an infinitely greater scale.” 

“I don’t know if there are grades of genocide. But there is a width of genocide. This will be indirect genocide by negligence, recklessness that will in the final come back to us or our children and grandchildren.

Initial reports about the remarks of the Archbishop caused outrage.

Stephen Pollard, Jewish Chronicle editor, said that it was so sickening to hear that Welby could still be an Archbishop and a priest.

He added, however, after Mr Welby had retracted the words: “Welby’s apology was quick and very clear. And it was a true apology, not a mealy-mouthed one. It is important to take this incident into consideration and then move on. 

Before the apology, Downing Street declined to criticize the Archbishop.  

Johnson’s spokesperson said that he had seen from the speech of the PM how serious Johnson takes this.

“It is up to the individual how they frame it…

“Those present here understand how serious it is.”

The comments made by Mr Welby were among a series of alarming warnings at summit about the dire consequences of failure to address climate change.   

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, claimed that it is an “illusion” to believe there has been enough progress on reducing carbon emissions. He said that mining for coal, oil, and gas was like ‘digging your own graves’.  

Delegates were told by Mr Guterres that the world’s addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity towards the brink.

‘We face a stark choice: either we stop it — or it stops us,’ he said.

Antonio Gutteres insisted it is an 'illusion' to think there has been enough progress reducing carbon emissions, and mining for fossil fuels is like 'digging our own graves'

Antonio Gutteres said it was an ‘illusion” to think there has been enough progress in reducing carbon emission. And mining for fossil fuels can be like ‘digging your own graves’

Mr Guterres greeted all 120 world leaders to the summit individually alongside Boris Johnson - and received a particularly effusive welcome from India's Narendra Modi

Boris Johnson and Guterres welcomed each other to the summit. Mr Guterres was greeted individually by Narendra Modi of India.  

Mr Johnson and Sir David Attenborough were in the audience listening to speeches on the first day of the leaders' summit

Sir David Attenborough, Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson listened to speeches from the leaders’ summit on the first day.   

What are the key aims of COP26 

  • Secure commitments on reducing emissions by 2030 and achieving Net Zero as close to 2020 as possible.
  • Keep the hope alive that temperatures rise to 1.5 degrees.
  • Unabated coal power plants must be phased out. Increase investment in renewable energy.
  • Strike deals to reduce deforestation  
  • Climate finance pledges worth $100 billion
  • Finalize the rules for implementing the Paris Agreement.   

It’s time to say enough. End the brutalization of biodiversity. Enough with the carbon bombing. Enough with treating nature as a bathroom.

“Enough with burning, drilling, and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves. 

In his speech, Boris Johnson told world leaders they can no longer afford to delay taking major action to address climate change – saying ‘the longer we fail to act, the worse it gets’. 

The Prime Minister likened the global situation to the final scene of a James Bond film, where the hero must stop plans for destroying the planet. 

Johnson, however, stated that “this is not a film” and that the “doomsday device” was real. He urged his counterparts for more action to reduce harmful emission. 

The premier stated that the longer countries waited to take action, the higher the cost when it comes to a catastrophe requiring us to act. 

He stated that the world has “long since stopped the clock on climate change” and there is only “one minute to midnight”, with immediate action to prevent a global catastrophe.   

The PM used his speech at the opening of the summit as a rallying cry to try to build momentum as he welcomed foreign leaders to Glasgow after securing only lukewarm climate commitments at the G20 summit in Rome over the weekend. 

However, UN hopes have been hampered by the revelation that China’s president Xi Jinping won’t even give a virtual’ speech but will instead submit a written statement.

Recep Tayyip Turkey Erdogan, Turkish president, also said he would not be attending despite being at the G20. Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, both in charge of big polluters, have declined to attend.

The conference’s organisation is under fire. Thousands of conference attendees were forced to wait hours for their turn through the shambolic security system this morning.

The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then 'the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’. Mr Johnson is pictured welcoming Joe Biden to the summit today

 The premier said the longer countries wait to take action then ‘the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act’. Joe Biden is welcomed to the summit by Johnson today 

French president Emmanuel Macron gestures to the Prime Minister as they chat on Monday morning as the climate change summit kicks off

Emmanuel Macron, French President, gestures to Prime Minister during their conversation Monday morning as the Climate Change Summit kicks off

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are pictured arriving for the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow

The Prince of Wales (pictured) and the Duchess Cornwall (pictured) arrive at the Cop26 summit at Scottish Event Campus (SEC), Glasgow

Mr Johnson with Comoros' President Azali Assoumani

Mr Johnson meets St Lucia's Prime Minister Philip Joseph Pierre

Right, Mr Johnson greets Azali Assoumani, President of Comoros, and Philip Joseph Pierre, Prime Minister of St Lucia, right

In his lunchtime speech Mr Johnson pledged to invest another billion dollars in green finance – provided the UK economy performs as expected over the next years.

The PM reiterated his desire for global leaders to announce steps on ‘coal and cars, cash, and trees’, which he believes will make the biggest difference in limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees. 

As the G20 concluded last night, Mr Johnson set the tone by reading the riot acts to his fellow leaders around the world, stating that their promises to tackle climate change are beginning to’sound hollow’.

The PM stated that there are no compelling excuses for procrastination on reducing harmful emission and that action taken amounts to ‘drops within a rapidly warming ocean.