British Olympic gold medallist gold medallist has warned Joe Biden and world leaders meeting at COP26 they need to tackle the climate change crisis seriously ©Getty Images

Britain's London 2012 gold medallist Etienne Stott has warned that COP26 must be "about keeping fossil fuels in the ground" while the world leaders attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in Scotland.

At the Conference, due to run until November 12 and aims to "bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," world leaders, including United States President Joe Biden and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are expected to outline their climate commitments at the event.

Stott, who on the eve of the Conference was involved in an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest at an oil refinery in England, has said the prime focus should be to keep fossil fuels in the ground. 

"COP26 has to be about keeping fossil fuels in the ground," Stott said on Twitter

"All else is distraction."

Retweeting a Guardian article by George Monbiot, a British writer known for his environmental and political activism, Stott added: "George Monibot explaining what needs to be done, but what our leaders are desperately trying to avoid doing. 

"The reason: corruption. 

"Their solution: GreenWash."

Later retweeting a Channel 4 documentary investigating the UK's contributions to carbon emissions and whether the country's publicised numbers are accurate, Stott added: "Get yourself up to speed so you can see through Government greenwashing with this show."

His criticism of the UK Government comes following his part in an XR protest.

Around 15 XR protestors illegally entered an ExxonMobil-owned oil refinery site in Fawley in Hampshire on Friday (October 29) morning, creating a blockade across the entrance and locking themselves to various structures.

Stott, winner of a canoe slalom C2 gold medal in London alongside Tim Baillie in 2012, was alongside sailor and fellow Olympian Laura Baldwin, who were aiming to inhibit the production of the plant.

ExxonMobil, part of the Esso Group and is "planning to expand their oil exploration," according to Baldwin, said the protest did not impact production.

In a statement released by XR, Stott added: "We need our Government to rein in these rogue companies as a matter of urgency and show to the world ahead of COP26 that the UK is prepared to take a genuine leadership position.""