(Bloomberg) --

Boris Johnson’s discussion with children about climate change took a strange turn on Monday when he cracked a joke about feeding people to animals to rebalance the planet.

The U.K. prime minister was sitting alongside Tanya Steele, chief executive of conservation organization WWF UK, who had just spoken of the need to “bring nature back.” About 97% of the mammals on earth are humans and domestic animals, she said, while only 3% are wild animals.

“We could feed some of the human beings to the animals as well,” Johnson interjected, to giggles from the children.

Steele was stopped in her tracks, before replying: “Certainly we need to take our responsibilities seriously.”

Johnson ‘Touch and Go’ If COP26 Climate Summit Will Be a Success

Though Johnson was in typically boisterous mood at the event broadcast on YouTube, the political stakes are high as he seeks to make a success of the COP26 summit starting in Glasgow in a week’s time. The premier wants to show Britain is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change, but warned it’s “touch and go” whether the talks will yield an agreement.

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