The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Alok Sharma had stated that the UK remains focused on preparations for the delayed COP26 climate summit, claiming that nations can’t treat the coronavirus pandemic and climate action as an “either-or” scenario. Sharma, who was appointed Energy Secretary and COP26 President in February, reiterated the UK’s commitment to climate action and its net-zero target during a virtual BEIS committee meeting Thursday morning. According to the UN, the world is “way off-track” to deliver the aims of the Paris Agreement. Preliminary data for 2019 suggests that greenhouse gas emissions increased globally in 2019 and carbon emissions from fossil fuels grew by more than 0.5% last year. COP26 is viewed as a vital summit to negotiate for more ambitious and accelerated decarbonisation efforts that are aligned with the 1.5C pathway of the Paris Agreement. A handful of nations, namely Chile and some smaller island states, have updated NDCs ahead of the COP26 conference. The UK will be required to update its NDC, having originally submitted one as part of the EU and since setting the net-zero emissions goal for 2050. It could be that the Sixth Carbon Budget – advice on which is set to be published in December – could form the UK’s new intermittent contribution to the global agreement.
Edie 23rd April 2020 read more »