Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most serious long-term economic threats that this country and this world faces.
I am proud of the Government's record on addressing climate change. The UK has played a leading role as the world has worked towards a global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Paris Agreement. 
Since 1990, the UK has cut emissions by more than 42 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds, a better performance on a per person basis than any other G7 nation. Indeed, analysis by Carbon Brief has shown that the UK's carbon emissions are now at their lowest level since the 19th century. As such, the Government's Energy Act puts Britain firmly on track to meet the 2050 target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases by 80 per cent and underpins the remarkable investment that the UK has seen in its low carbon economy since 2010.
The UK is a world leader in clean growth and the Government has invested more than £52 billion in renewable energy in the UK since 2010. The Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy identify and target the huge potential opportunity for the UK from clean growth and transition to low carbon economy, while the National Adaptation Programme 2018-23 sets out a strategy for dealing with the effects of a changing climate. The Government has also agreed to support and expand offshore wind and made the historic commitment to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025.

Indeed, the recent Offshore Wind Sector Deal was a fantastic example of how the Government is working with industry to advance our decarbonisation but also to create jobs right across the UK. In addition, I welcome that at the latest United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Government gave its commitment to the Just Transition Declaration to manage impacts on workers and communities transitioning away from high-carbon sectors.  
Government support has driven down the cost of renewable energy. Solar, for example, has seen costs fall by 35 per cent in the last three years. I believe that support should help low-cost, low-carbon technologies to stand on their own two feet, rather than create dependence on public subsidies, which ultimately drive bills up for consumers.

Regarding a net zero emissions target, Ministers asked the Committee on Climate Change for advice on the matter in the Clean Growth Strategy in order that the Government can legislate to enshrine the committee's recommendation of 2050 into UK law.  

Limiting climate change is an international effort and I very much hope that the UK gets the opportunity to host the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2020, so we can further encourage our friends and allies to do more.

In addition, the International Climate Fund has been set up to provide £5.8 billion to help the world's poorest adapt to climate change and promote cleaner, greener economic growth. Through it, the UK works in partnership with developing countries to reduce carbon emissions through promoting low carbon development, as well as helping poor people protect themselves from the effects of climate change.  The UK is also a leading supporter of efforts to integrate climate change policies into international development plans.

I hope that I have demonstrated the UK's continuing commitment to low carbon energy and I look forward to seeing this carried forward.