Ed Miliband: The UK government will need to strain every political, strategic and diplomatic sinew as the hosts of the Cop26 summit. First, we need to show the power of example in our domestic action. When we passed the world-leading Climate Change Act, with cross-party support, in 2008, and became the first country to legislate for emissions reductions, it gave us moral authority on the world stage. Today, we should lead by example again by showing that the route to economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis is by tackling the climate emergency. When delegates gather in Glasgow in 12 months, they should be coming to a country that has in that time created hundreds of thousands of green jobs through an ambitious green recovery, in everything from retrofitting homes to building the zero-emission engines of the future to planting trees and green spaces. The government also needs to acknowledge that it is way off track from meeting the climate targets it has set. It needs to match its rhetoric with a proper plan for what our future energy system looks like, how it will decarbonise the way we heat our homes, a plan for our transport system including committing to phasing out new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and show how land use and agriculture can play a central role in tackling the climate crisis. A coherent plan also needs a ban on UK government financing of fossil fuel projects overseas and mandatory climate-rejected financial reporting for UK-listed companies. Secondly, Glasgow needs to deliver on the international finance for developing countries. They must be able to come with us on the low-carbon transition in a global green recovery and build resilience against the impacts of climate change. Across the globe, we need to deliver on the $100bn (£76.3bn) of finance promised to countries on the frontline of the crisis a decade ago. We should also be working internationally to co-ordinate and support green recovery efforts around the world, and address the crippling debt burdens and ruinous interest rates faced by many vulnerable countries following the pandemic. This should include working much more effectively through international institutions like the IMF and World Bank, energising like-minded countries, and using our presidency of G7 next year to drive the agenda. Thirdly and most importantly, long-term goals of zero emissions as recently announced by China, Japan and South Korea, following other countries including the UK, represent a very welcome momentum in the climate fight, but they are not a substitute for action over the next crucial decade. Politicians must not be allowed off the hook by pointing to action later this century, when the science tells us we must act now, in the coming years. We should all be asking Boris Johnson now to insist that world leaders come to the summit, either in person or, if necessary, virtually, depending on Covid – so that they know their reputation is on the line. They should feel compelled to act due to the volume of this global voice, and know that adequate is not good enough.
Independent 1st Nov 2020 read more »
Business groups have urged the Prime Minister to update the UK’s 2030 carbon target before the end of the year, arguing the nation has a responsibility as COP26 host to set an example to the many scores of countries worldwide with weak climate goals. The Aldersgate Group, The B Team, We Mean Business, the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development are among 15 organisations that have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this morning demanding the government unveil a new emissions pledge that is aligned with the Paris Agreement, the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), and the UK’s own net zero target.
Business Green 3rd Nov 2020 read more »