Allegra Stratton leads by example in saving the world' she doesn't fancy it just yet | Catherine Bennett

Allegra Stratton (the No 10 press secretary and prime minister's climate spokesperson) said that she didn't like the idea of an electric car. Thank you, she preferred her diesel.Even if this was the most memorable of a number of suboptimal comments made by the person hired to communicate Cop26's urgency, the climate summit, it is still a good summary of Boris Johnsons position regarding decisive climate action. It is not something he likes yet.Johnson would have thought that the UK hosting this session was more important than a long posturing opportunity. He wouldn't have guessed earlier that the home team was a great depository for spare staff or discarded staff, and even a time-consuming distraction for his wife Dominic Cummings. Johnson was trying to hide some incivility by offering Nicola Sturgeon a starring part at Cop26. He had forgotten that she shouldn't be near the proceedings in Glasgow.Although Strattons climate redeployment team attempted to inform her about the unfamiliar territory, the briefing did not include a suggestion to review her arrangements. She might have been ridiculed for her exceptional ignorance or entitlement. Even if Strattons diesel embarrassment had been a temporary event (or explained by something persuasive than her children's toileting needs), it may not have earned her a place alongside Gerald Ratners immortal (on a product) in the PR halls of fame.Alas, Strattons, I don't fancy it just yet, came just days after shed urged civilians not to follow the same micro-steps and make them One Step Greener. Her top tip Did You know that you don't really need to rinse dishes before you put them in the dishwasher? was a strong contender. There were also strong contenders for planet-saving via bread (had anyone else found a way to keep it from going mouldy?). eco-know-how: Does your plastic bottle shower gel come in a bar in cardboard packagingI think it does, Stratton insisted. She was presumably certain that people who have never heard soap are unlikely to suggest that there are urgent actions.It is not certain that Stratton hasn't tried the Johnsons, but we can be sure of this. It would not be difficult. It's not necessary to completely renovate an inoffensive flat for a company with grotesque new wallpaper and sub-colonial effects. You don't, I'm sure!Boris Johnson, the fertility-phobic genius, is the father of seven children. He wrote this warning in 2007 when he had only contributed four more Johnsons to the problem that threatened to overwhelm the planet. No. It's not something he wants to do.Suppose Stratton had reformed her practice of patronizing people with smaller carbon footprints than her own. Her legacy of trivialising the climate crisis and portraying it as as upsetting to libertarians and the poor may be hard to reverse. Last week, one of those who applauded her determination that "I don't want anyone to tell me tomorrow that I have to spend thousands" was shed, the prominent skeptical environmentalist. He congratulated her on subverting the official government message. Perhaps we should look at the work of climate speakers like Ms Stratton.If a prime minister was serious about Cop26, it might admit, even if it recalled some of the undifying circumstances of Strattons original appointments, that it is probably unhelpful for a climate spokesperson, Alok Sharmas pronouncements regarding its urgency, but more so to reinforce public complacency.Stratton's coal mine gag, reminds us that amidst deadly floods, record heat and forest fires Stratton is merely enhancing his climate preferences. Performance over policies, every single time. Lord Deben, the chair of the climate change committee warned recently against procrastination. If we only promise, people won't take us seriously and it puts [COP26] in jeopardy.This was before the climate spokesperson followed her dishwashing tips with the assurance that One Step Greener can be used to take unlimited flights to, for example, Cornwall, Mustique or a family home in Greece. She stated that the prime minister is a firm believer in individual choice. People should make informed and educated choices about where and how they travel.It is too late to stop Allegra Stratton. Or, at the very least, to shift to a more quieter, hybrid version of her speech before she sets fire on the summit. Even if Sharma's rhetoric might mitigate the impact her recent contributions, it will take more words to stop Strattons catchphrase defining UKs response to a planetary crisis under Johnson: I don't fancy it just yet