18 Nov 0
The UK government has signed a document ratifying the world’s first comprehensive agreement on tackling climate change – the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Parliament raised no objections and after the government signed the deal, the ratification was completed. The UK became the 111th country to sign up to the COP21 agreement.
It comes in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, who has promised to re-instate the coal industry in the US and withdraw from the Paris deal which the US has already ratified. A government spokesman told BBC News earlier this week that the change in power in the US would not divert the UK from its climate change targets.
The Paris Agreement commits countries to taking action to hold temperature rises to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels – and to try to stabilise emissions at a level which would see a temperature rise of no more than 1.5C. More than 100 countries have already officially signed up to the deal, which came into force earlier this month. It was put before Parliament for the required 21-day period for scrutiny. That expired with no objections raised by the House of Commons or Lords. This strong signal of the UK’s commitment to international co-operation on climate change is even more important following the US election. The UK faces a 47% shortfall to meet its 2030 climate target. Now the Government must now show its commitment through action on the ground.
The climate minister Nick Hurd said: “The UK is ratifying the Paris Agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all. We are going to use this positive momentum to grow the UK low-carbon sector, which is already worth over £46bn, as we continue to provide secure, affordable and clean energy to our families and businesses.”