Caroline Lucas: The clock is ticking down to COP26, the most important UN climate summit since Paris in 2015, and quite possibly one of the most important international gatherings in history. It’s the moment when countries need to make good on the commitment they signed up to in Paris to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and agree to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions at the scale and speed that’s required. On Friday we learned what the UK is proposing – cutting carbon emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 – but, at present, we do not have the policies in place to achieve it.
iNews 6th Dec 2020 read more »
To some it looks insane. At a time when the UK economy needs to become more economically competitive to meet the challenges of Brexit, the Prime Minister seems intent only on ramping up the scale of the UK’s climate change obligations. It’s all very well to adopt a world leadership role in saving the planet, yet if it destroys the economy in the meantime, he’s unlikely to get much thanks for it at the ballot box. But here’s the point; it’s not going to destroy the economy. Much more likely is that it is end up part of the economy’s salvation. All Boris Johnson is doing is rubber stamping what was in any case going to be the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation on how to update the NDC. As a serious advocate of the need for radical action on climate change, he would have been in some trouble had he rejected it. All the same, the new commitment, which is to ramp up emissions reduction from 57pc of 1990 levels to 68pc within a decade, is a huge ask. As yet, there is still little in the way of clarity on how to get there. Nonetheless, it is good to see the UK take the lead on a matter of such global significance. Ambitious targets are one thing; for the UK economy, the important thing is to tap into their economic potential. The explosive growth of offshore wind is already an outstanding British success story, neatly substituting for the expertise and jobs in offshore engineering that used to be occupied by now semi obsolete North Sea oil. Yet many of the components are still foreign made. A strategy for promoting local content is urgently required.
Telegraph 6th Dec 2020 read more »