The Paris Agreement once again shows the global influence the UK has through Europe. The EU built the high ambition coalition that ensured an ambitious, legally binding agreement in Paris this weekend.
The UK’s Climate Change Act led the world with legally binding limits of greenhouse gas emissions. Now with toughened global targets for reducing emissions agreed by 196 nations, Europe must increase its own efforts.
The UK should match this by, at the very least, agreeing the Climate Change Committee’s post Paris recommendations on the 5th Carbon Budget for 2030.
Nick Mabey, Chief Executive of E3G, commented:
“The Paris Agreement makes British people safer. Without it the types of floods we have seen in Cumbria would happen more frequently and more severely. Paris sharply reduces that risk but there is still more to do.
The heart of the Paris Agreement is the principle of ‘I will if you will’. We need China and India to cut emissions faster when pledges are reviewed in 5 years’ time. The best way to persuade them to be more ambitious is to carry on delivering steep cuts in the UK and EU.”
In recent months the UK Government has cut many of the policies needed to deliver the Paris Commitment.
Reversing the cuts to energy efficiency programmes and investing in renewable energy and stronger grids linked to Europe would save money and cut carbon.
Mabey urged the Government to ‘reset the reset’, adding:
“The Government knows it has made a mess of energy policy because global investors have withdrawn from the UK. The success in Paris provides a clear opportunity to ‘reset the reset’ with a modicum of honour and get us back onto a safe, low cost, low carbon energy future.”
E3G are the independent experts on climate diplomacy and energy policy. We are a think tank working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Nick Mabey, +44 (0) 7949 768 771, firstname.lastname@example.org