British agents are monitoring the world’s largest polluters, particularly China, to ensure that they are honouring their international commitments regarding the environment, Richard Moore, the head of MI6, has disclosed.
The chief of the UK’s foreign intelligence service revealed in an interview that MI6 views climate change as the “foremost international foreign policy item for this country and for the planet.”
Moore signaled that his agency would focus on China because it is “certainly the largest emitter” of carbon, describing the clandestine activity as “green spying.”
He said that MI6 aims “to shine a light in places where people might not want it shone,” and that the agency hopes to play an active role in addressing the global “climate emergency.”
“Where people sign up to commitments on climate change, it is perhaps our job to make sure that what they are really doing reflects what they have signed up to,” Moore explained.
His comments come after US President Joe Biden
outlined a new plan to slash America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels, calling climate change “the existential crisis of our time.” He said his administration would work to meet commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement that were neglected after Donald Trump
pulled the US out of the accord.
Biden recently hosted a virtual summit with the heads of major industrial nations to discuss environmental issues, warning that the world was entering a “decisive decade” for taking action on the climate.
Speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson
said that the UK was gearing up to transition to clean energy and technology, urging other nations to follow suit.
Beijing, which also attended the summit, has repeatedly pushed back against the notion that it is not doing enough to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Earlier this month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Beijing’s effectiveness at tackling climate change was “obvious to all” and challenged Washington to take action instead of lecturing other nations about environmental issues.