British PM Johnson urges G20 to do more to combat COVID

Pedestrians illuminated by Christmas lights walk through Oxford Street amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge other G20 leaders to take more ambitious action to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and to address climate change at a weekend virtual summit in Saudi Arabia.

In remarks ahead of the meeting, Johnson appealed to leaders of the other nations which make up the G20 group of major economies to honour their promise to do “whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods”.

He will also use Sunday’s session to call on those leaders yet to make net-zero commitments to make the same pledge, just under a month before Britain co-hosts the Climate Ambition Summit on Dec. 12.

“The G20 committed in March to do ‘whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods’. As we meet this weekend, we must hold ourselves to account for that promise,” he said before addressing the summit.

“If we harness the collective ingenuity and resources of the G20, we can chart a path out of the pandemic and build a better, greener future.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison