Boris Johnson laughed off calls by his science chief for people not to eat meat in order to save the planet – joke that he is just cutting down on food generally.

As the PM, who is well-known for his struggles with weight, joked about Sir Patrick Vallance when he was asked about him. He said that he had decided to eat less meat.

Johnson acknowledged that he had been on a long road to Damascus over the importance of combating climate change.

Boris Johnson laughed off calls from his science chief for people to cut down on meat to save the environment - joking that he is cutting down on food generally - while en route to the G20 summit in Rome and ahead of next month's Cop26 climate summit

Boris Johnson laughed off calls from his science chief for people to cut down on meat to save the environment – joking that he is cutting down on food generally – while en route to the G20 summit in Rome and ahead of next month’s Cop26 climate summit

He claimed that he was influenced by an early briefing given him by experts when he entered Downing Street.

As he spoke to reporters while en route to Rome’s G20 summit, he stated: “I got them all to run it all. And if you look up at the temperature graph’s almost vertical kink upward, the anthropogenic global climate change, it is very hard to dispute. 

“That was a very significant moment for me.”

When asked if he was following Sir Patrick’s lead by eating less meat to reduce his carbon footprint, Mr Johnson laughed. He also referenced his health kick.

He stated, “I’m consuming a bit less of all things, which may be a good thing for the environment,” 

The Prime Minister’s comments came after Vallance told BBC Breakfast on Friday that his key message to world leaders at Cop26 ‘is that 1.5C is both important and achievable, but it requires urgent action – evidence-based, science-based action.

“We need international science collaboration to ensure that science innovation around the globe is available. We also need to increase research and development capacity in the countries that require it in order for us to find the solution.

When asked what Cop26’s best result would look like, he replied that he believes there is a need to make active plans and that there are ‘lots to happen in this decade’.

He also said that there is a need for large investments in technology and to’make it the easy choice’. He explained that he now cycles to work, has reduced his meat consumption, and is flying less.

Sir Patrick answered questions about the Budget incentive to encourage flying in the UK, and whether it sent the wrong message. He said that his scientific advice was that “all of us taking action to reduce flying would have a benefit” and that there is a need for a sustainable way to fly.

Earlier this year, sources revealed that Johnson’s weight-loss drive had been so successful that he’s had to splash out on a new wardrobe after dropping a suit size.

The PM, who has famously struggled with his weight, made the quip as he was asked about Sir Patrick Vallance (pictured in London, October 28) saying he had opted to eat less meat

The PM, who is well-known for his struggles with weight, joked when he was asked about Sir Patrick Vallance (pictured at London, October 28), and said that he had chosen to eat less meat.

They claimed that he even threw away his old clothes in an effort to lose weight.

It was reported that Mr Johnson, who was 16st 7 lb last year when he caught Covid, had lost nearly two stone through a combination diet and exercise by March. 

His wife Carrie Symonds is also ‘playing an important part’ in his diet. According to sources, Johnson has cut down on alcohol consumption, cut back on late-night cheese, eats less chocolate, and runs more often.

Johnson’s Friday comments came before the Cop26 summit next month, where world leaders will descend on Glasgow for crucial climate talks.

Speaking earlier on Friday, the Prime Minister compared climate change to the fall of the Roman Empire tonight warning society could return to the dark ages with ‘terrifying’ speed.

As he arrived in Rome for the G20, the PM presented an apocalyptic vision about the future. He will be trying to build momentum ahead the COP26 summit next Wednesday.

Johnson warned that future generations could fall into illiteracy, and even suggested that cows could shrink.

He claimed that civilisation lost the ability to draw properly after the fall of Rome. Accordingly, ‘our children’, ‘our grandchildren and great-grandchildren’ could be facing food and water shortages.

The Prime Minister is said to have become much more environmentally conscious since he met his wife Carrie Johnson (pictured)

According to reports, the Prime Minister has become more environmentally conscious since meeting his wife Carrie Johnson (pictured).

These comments were made amid concerns that the Glasgow gathering might end up being a damp squib.

Xi Jinping, China’s premier, has confirmed that he will not be attending the event in person. However, he will give a speech via video link.

Along with Jair Bolsanaro of Brazil, Vladimir Putin, Russian President, is also shunned from the summit.

Johnson spoke to reporters on the way to the G20 and stated that “Humanity as a whole is about 5-1 down at half-time.”

“We still have a lot to do, but we can do it.

“We have the ability, but it will take a lot of effort, to equalise, save the position, and to come back.

Johnson stated that it was possible for things to go backwards and forwards in his lengthy description of the tragedy of Roman Empire.

“If we don’t do the right thing in tackling climate change, we could see civilisation and world go backwards. We could also consign future generations to a less agreeable life.

COP26 begins in Glasgow on Sunday and will look to build on agreements made at the Paris climate summit in 2015 where nations agreed to try to keep global heating to below 1.5C

COP26 starts in Glasgow on Sunday. It will be looking to build on the Paris climate summit 2015 agreements where nations agreed to limit global warming to 1.5C.

The Prime Minister's comments come at a time where some have claimed that the absence of China and Russia's premiers will make COP26 a damp squid

The Prime Minister’s remarks come at a time when some have claimed that the absence China and Russia of their premiers will make COP26 a damp fish.

He continued, “We could consign all our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren to a life of massive movements and huge migrations, but also food and water shortages, conflict caused by climate change, and it is a reality we must face.”

Johnson stated that after the Roman civilisation, humanity became “far less literate”.

“Look at the evidence of the fall and fall of Rome’s Roman Empire to see if you have any doubts. When Rome fell, humanity lost its ability to read and write, to draw properly, and to build the same way as the Romans.

He said, “Things can go backwards, and they can do so at a really frightening speed.”

COP26 begins on Sunday at Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) and will welcome 30,000 delegates, 10,000 police and as many as 200,000 protesters for the 13-day conference.