According to UK’s Chief Science Advisor, climate change poses far more threat to mankind than Covid.

Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that the challenge of global warming could last a hundred years and will require ‘a combination of technology and behavioural change’ to tackle.

Telling the BBC at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow that Covid poses a ‘two to four-year problem’, he went on: ‘The reason I say it’s a bigger problem is because in terms of the overall effect on humanity, if this is not stopped this will be a bigger, bigger challenge to the way we live and lives will be lost.’

He stated that if the green choice is made, then more people will choose to make a change in their lives. 

Sir Patrick is the Chief Scientific Advisor to Cop26 and was a key figure in the UK’s response against Covid. He also became an iconic fixture during the pandemic. 

An early advocate of lockdown, he regularly appeared alongside the Chief Medical Officer at Downing Street briefings with the Prime Minister – and is likely to remain prominent in his new green role. 

The Chief Scientific Advisor previously indicated support for behavioural changes including reductions in meat eating and flying.  

Sir Patrick Vallance has warned that the challenge of global warming could last a hundred years and will require 'a combination of technology and behavioural change' to tackle

Sir Patrick Vallance warned that global warming is a problem that could persist for 100 years. He said it will need ‘a combination technology and behavioral change to address this challenge. 

Steam rises from cooling towers at a power plant in Beijing, November 4, 2021

A cooling tower at Beijing’s power station in Beijing is heating up steam, November 4, 2021

Protesters gathered outside the Cop26 summit taking place in Glasgow this weekend

Cop26 Summit in Glasgow: Protesters gather outside 

The wealthiest mandarin in Whitehall: How Sir Patrick Vallance took a £600,000 pay cut to join government – before becoming a household name

Sir Patrick is the richest mandarin in Whitehall, worth £10million – and has led the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He was a regular at Downing Street Covid Briefings, alongside Boris Johnson during the pandemic. 

Until March 2021 he held a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline, worth £600,000 from his time as president of the multinational drug company. 

In 2015, he answered critics that suggested he had taken the corporate position to make more money following his academic career at University College London.

Radio 4’s The Life Scientific interviewed him and he stated that there will be those who carp about his decision to go to the dark side to make money.

There’s not much you can do. This is why you must be confident in your personal reputation before making a decision such as this.

Currently he and his family live in a substantial semi-detached Victorian house worth £1.8million, which they bought in 2018 with cash.

After the fire destroyed everything, they had to do extensive renovations.

Sir Patrick was born in Essex in 1960 and educated at Truro school in Cornwall, which costs nearly £30,000 to board now. 

Although he had initially considered becoming a chef, he ended up pursuing a career in science and medicine after completing his studies at University before deciding to go to GSK.

This would have been the pivotal role that propelled him to the fame he enjoys today. He has his own entry in Who’s Who. It lists his hobbies of’mushrooming and cooking’, ‘gardening’, and ‘playing bad tennis’.

Twelve days after starting the job, he was already rubbing shoulders avec royalty. 

After six years at GSK his base salary as Executive Director was £780,000 a year.

When he left he cashed in £5 million worth of shares he got from them from his time working there until March 2018.

And in 2017 when he took his current role as Government Chief Scientific Adviser Nature, the international weekly science journal, said his salary was up to £180,000 a year – more than the Prime Minister. 

Nearly 40 of Sir Patrick’s global counterparts joined him before the UN summit. He stated that it is still possible to reduce temperature rises by 1.5C. However, this can only be achieved by drastic reductions in global emission by 2030, and to zero by 2050. 

Sir Patrick stated that the message for world leaders was “1.5C is possible, it’s exactly what we should aim for”, but action is needed now. 

This decade will be the decade for innovation research and development. It must be applied and scaled now, or it won’t be possible to achieve the 1.5C goal.

He said, “It will require detailed plans and technology. It’s also going to need behavioural changes. And it’s likely that it’ll require monitoring to ensure this happens, including the monitoring of emission.”

Sir Patrick spoke out about behavioural change and said that “there will be a shift away from how much meat we’ve eaten in the past.” He also stated, “I think we will all have to think about our flying habits.”

“But, of course, along with that, there are also technological advancements, so that options for green transportation become real, that will change again.

“One of climate challenges is the small actions of all of us, that add up to a large change in the world. Even though it seems small, the little things are crucial when they are accumulated across millions of people.

He claimed that the majority of technologies necessary to move to a more sustainable world are already “visible” and advised against expecting a miracle solution in the next years.

He said that people need to know what can be done on an individual basis to make a change and the “green” choice should include convenience, price, and affordability. 

Scientific advisors issued a joint statement prior to Cop26. We urged political leaders to urgently take action to reduce global warming to 1.5C, as this is the limit at which even more serious impacts will be felt.

According to them, stabilizing the climate would reduce sea-level rises and other extreme weather events and increase prosperity. It also protects human health and the environment.

Advisors stated that addressing climate changes would require intense international collaboration in order to find and implement new solutions across all economic sectors.

The experts warned that it was crucial to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change, which are now inevitable.

In the same statement was added, “To limit global warming, it will take rapid, urgent, sustained action, as well as significant behavioral, socioeconomic, and technological changes across the globe.”

The government should be focusing on the development and expansion of existing green technologies in the coming decade. They also need to accelerate the development of new-generation green solutions and include all parts of society in this green transition. 

Sir Patrick stated previously that UN’s climate report, which was a’starkly and justly uncomfortable’ document on the subject of climate change had shown the urgent need to take action.

Boris Johnson said that the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C global warming limit was most likely to be broken within the next few decades. He also stated that it should be a “wake-up call” to the world for action.

Sir Patrick reacted and said that plans to combat climate change are easy to forget. He urged the world’s leaders to make clear, practical, concrete plans to solve this crisis. 

He stated that every government should develop a evidence-based roadmap that details the technologies it requires.

“That’s an important and practical step governments must take. Each of us should hold ourselves accountable for it because tracking progress against these roadmaps will be vital.

“It is easy to fall and to think that there will be a remedy later.

“The message is “no”, it must happen immediately, the roadmap has to be implemented immediately,” and we have to recognize when we are off track and make corrections as quickly as possible.  

Thousands of demonstrators during a Cop26 protest in London, November 6, 2021

Cop26 demonstrators gather in London for a demonstration on November 6th 2021.

This map shows which countries burn the most coal. The top three biggest consumers are China, India and the US. The UK doesn't even make the top 10

This graphic shows where the world’s largest coal consumers are located. China, India, and the USA are the top three largest consumers of coal. The UK is not even in the top 10. 

Hot air coming from China and Saudi Arabia: COP26 negotiators in countries are being accused of blocking climate change negotiations by not being transparent about their emissions 

China and Saudi Arabia were accused of preventing progress at Cop26 by refusing transparency about greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change conference negotiators said that the countries were opposed to the requirement for countries to report their emission, amid concern about some countries hiding the full extent of their emissions.

Saudi Arabian negotiators were also accused of blocking the “cover decision” – the final statement of Cop26 which could include a promise to speed up action to reduce global warming to 1.5C in order to prevent the most severe impacts from rising temperatures.

Currently, the global progress of the 1.5C target that countries have set for themselves in the next decade is far from being achieved under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

According to The Times, China has reportedly objected to the reporting of its greenhouse gas emissions because it fears that data about its economic growth will be revealed. The climate goal of China is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing GDP per unit.

Saudi Arabia has expressed concern about information being released about Saudi Aramco, its major oil company and a contributor to Saudi Arabia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Yesterday, Environment Secretary George Eustice was reprimanded by ministers after he stated that the government is considering carbon border taxes on imports from poor countries.

Eustice stated that this was an important idea and had ruled out a ‘arbitrary’ tax on meat from foreign foods.

But, Treasury officials and Department for Business representatives said that no plans for such was being considered at this time.

According to the Times, ministers also worry that such a plan will be seen as a form protectionism and could raise the price of imports of food.

According to theory, the carbon tax might levy costs on products of states thought to have evaded their responsibility to act.

These comments were made by Boris Johnson, who urged Cop 26 negotiators in Glasgow to “drive for the line” to secure deals to protect the world.

It would be several years before any border tax would apply to imports. Mr Eustice stated that it should happen internationally.

He stated that he believes it would be multilateral and the entire world will agree in an ideal world.

“But it will be essential. A carbon border tax is the only way to make sense of carbon taxes and emission trading if you are going to implement them in the near future.

This tax is intended to stop pollution being exported through imports of products from other countries, without considering the emission produced in those countries.

“We’d be saying as nations that we are taking action to address this global problem, but we won’t allow producers to suffer because they don’t do their part, nor will we export pollution.

“So, if you don’t want to export polluting substances then at some point you will need to look into a carbon tax border tax.”

However, Mr Eustice stated that no’meat taxes’ are in the future.

He said, “We are not going to have an arbitrarily imposed meat tax or meat levie.” “That has never been in the plans.” It’s not something I support.

Johnson spoke at the weekend, saying that there was only one week for COP26’s deliverables for the entire world. He urged us all to pull together and work for this goal.

Johnson claimed that countries had shown ‘ambition, and taken action to reduce rising temperatures’. He praised the agreement on methane and deforestation.

“But, we cannot underestimate our task to preserve 1.5C,” he continued. “Countries should return to the table this week prepared to make bold concessions and take the ambitious pledges necessary.”

This comes just as UN climate negotiations enter their last week, with experts warning there are many unresolved disputes.

They include increasing ambition in national carbon reduction plans and providing $100billion per year to developing countries. 

The first formal “stocktake” will be held Monday by the negotiating blocs and countries. It will allow them to air any grievances, views, or opinions they may have following week one of negotiations.

Cop26 will be held one year later due to the pandemic. It is also taking place against the backdrop of increasing droughts, flooding, and storms that are ravaging countries around the world.

The first week of the conference saw 100 nations pledge to reduce their methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) by at least 30% by 2030.

India, the fourth most polluting country in the world, has announced it will reach carbon neutrality by 2070. This is another likely development to reduce emissions.

Experts believe these announcements could, together with the latest pledges of countries to reduce their emissions, have an impact on future temperatures.

However, a UN report released last week revealed that global emissions could rise by 13.7 percent in 2030. They must decrease by 45 percent this decade if we are to keep global warming below 1.5C.