Boris Johnson has refused to confirm if he will take part in a historic general election debate focusing solely on climate change.

Channel 4 have announced they will host the first ever party leaders debate dedicated to discussing the climate crisis.

Labour, Lib Dems, the SNP and the Greens have all committed to appearing on the one hour special dubbed ‘Emergency on Planet Earth’.

The broadcaster has not confirmed a date but said they could host the show any weeknight during their 7pm slot ahead of the December 12 election.

Despite the channel being ‘open to all dates’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage have not responded to their requests to take part.

C4 said in a statement:  ‘We are delighted to say that as of this moment the leaders of Labour, the Lib Dems, the Green Party and the SNP have all agreed to take part in principle.



‘Whilst we narrow down an exact date we still await confirmation from the Brexit Party and the Conservatives.

‘We urge the Prime Minister and Nigel Farage to show their commitment to this major issue and take part.

‘We do not intend to accept anyone other than party leaders to debate and examine the climate crisis and the related issues of the environment and biodiversity’.


The Emergency on Planet Earth debate is being named after a year-long C4 series that has shown ‘a world in crisis.’

The statement added: ‘We will use this reporting as well as the testimony of experts and international figures to ask the leaders of the UK’s 6 largest parties what they intend to do about it if they form the next government.’

The PM’s silence on the matter comes after it was reported he had dropped out of a separate C4 leaders debate this Sunday.

A number of Channel 4 reporters tweeted their disappointment that Boris Johnson had flaked out of a second head-to-head with Jeremy Corbyn, following an ITV debate earlier this week. 

C4 Anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who was set to be hosting the leaders debate this weekend, tweeted: ‘Boris Johnson said he was in favour of debates and his team have been in detailed talks with us for weeks about format and rules right up until yesterday. They insisted they were engaged and wanted to take on Jeremy Corbyn on our channel. Corbyn said yes. Offer still stands.’

As well as the climate change special, Channel 4 will be hosting a Brexit-free debate that will see party leaders grilled on  all issues bar the UK’s departure from the EU.



The live debate will be hosted by C4 presenter Cathy Newman, with representatives from each of the seven major parties taking part. has contacted the Conservative Party over the Prime Minister’s appearance on the Emergency on Planet Earth Debate.

Poking fun at the PM’s silence on the matter, the Green Party tweeted that he didn’t have the ‘guts’ to take them on over climate change.

The Conservative party are yet to publish their manifesto but have previously faced criticism from climate activists who say the government aren’t doing enough to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.

Launching their manifesto today, Labour has promised to create one million green jobs in the energy sector and through nationwide home refurbishments in a bid to tackle the climate crisis.

The party has promised a  ‘green industrial revolution’  to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Other proposals include lifting  the ban on new onshore wind farms, investing in new solar, tidal and wind energy and offering drivers  interest-free loans on electric cars.

The Lib Dems climate priorities  include insulating all of Britain’s homes by 2030, having at least 80% of UK electricity generated from renewables by 2030, banning fracking for good, planting 60 million trees a year, electrifying Britain’s railways and ensuring all new cars are electric by 2030.

The Green Party have warned the December 12 election is the ‘last chance’ to stop climate change and unveiled 12 key policies including spending £100bn a year to cut emissions.