LIZ Truss has revealed she unsuccessfully tried to “cancel” the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

In her new book Ten Years to Save the West, the former prime minister said it was “ironic” that after lobbying against Britain hosting the event, she would become a “key host”.

Truss blasted the event as “virtue signalling” and claimed her erstwhile Cabinet colleagues were gripped by “climate fever” and “posing for selfies with Greta Thunberg”.

She said that while serving as chief secretary to the Treasury in 2018, then-environment secretary Michael Gove (below) had called her the “Grinch who wants to stop Christmas” because of her campaign to “ditch COP26”.

The National: Michael Gove

Truss wrote: “With an estimated price tag of over £200 million, I strongly questioned whether organising this jamboree should be a priority for the government. I was in a minority of one yet again.

"We were in the midst of the fraught Brexit negotiations, and I thought the last thing the UK needed was to host tens of thousands of delegates at an international shindig that was bound to create more hot air than genuine environmental solutions.

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"From the reaction of my colleagues, you would have thought I had just suggested napalming the Brazilian rainforest.”

Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister said that while she believed carbon emissions had to be reduced there were “no quick wins to be had”.

Truss added: “More than anything, bidding for COP26 was about appeasing the green lobby by making a grand gesture aimed at gaining short-term popularity without changing the fundamentals. It was environmental virtue signalling, with the taxpayer picking up the hefty bill.

The National: Cop26

“We had seen too much of this in government over the years. But the rest of the Cabinet was in the grip of climate fever. When they weren’t posing for selfies with Greta Thunberg, they were busy trying to ban wood-burning stoves and plastic straws.”

The former prime minister said she had however enjoyed attending the Glasgow conference – allowing her to visit her “old stomping ground” of nearby Paisley – and used it to “pursue my agenda on the margins”.

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She wrote: “It was ironic that, after trying to cancel COP26, I should end up being a key host of the event. I was deputed to greet leaders and ministers who had flown in from around the world on gas-guzzling jets to talk earnestly about reducing carbon emissions.

“I love Glasgow, where the conference was held, and was able to visit my old stomping ground of Paisley nearby, as well as my favourite chip shop from my school days, the Hippy Chippy.

“COP26 was exactly the hot-air fest that I’d predicted it would be back in 2018, but I was able to pursue my agenda on the margins.

“I had the job of escorting the then Duchess of Cornwall around the reception at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This was a great pleasure, as she is very amusing and popular – so much so that we didn’t make it from one side of the room to the other.”

COP26 saw countries from around the world agree the Paris Rulebook – a set of guidelines for achieving reduced carbon emissions.

These include requirements to make the reporting of carbon emissions more transparent and establishing shared deadlines for reducing emissions.