Parliamentarians, charities and businesses issue priorities for UK’s delegation to COP28
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Cross-party MPs and Peers have joined with leading charities and businesses to issue a list of nine priorities for the UK’s delegation to COP28.
Ahead of the international climate conference, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Environment - chaired by former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore MP - has launched Keeping 1.5 alive: Global goals for climate leadership at COP28.
The group is asking the UK to help get the loss and damage fund, agreed by world leaders last year, up and running as soon as possible to ensure countries on the front line of the climate crisis receive financial support to deal with the fallout of extreme weather events, like flooding and wildfires.
Other goals include a push for the UK to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty, which allows fossil-fuel companies to sue foreign governments if they pass legislation which impacts their profits, and also for the UK to help establish a consensus on the need to phase out fossil fuels.
Politicians of all stripes have endorsed the asks, from Green MP Caroline Lucas, Conservative Selaine Saxby and Labour’s Afzal Khan, as well as SNP representative Deidre Brock and Wera Hobhouse from the Liberal Democrats. It has the backing of leading charities such as WWF, ClientEarth and the Marine Conservative Society, as well as big businesses like Veolia.
In a year when the UK’s role as a climate leader has been under increasing scrutiny due to row backs on key environmental policies, it is particularly important for the government to support ambitious global solutions to ensure the Paris Agreement (of keeping to 1.5 degrees of warming) is met.
The report is being launched this evening at a Parliamentary reception, ahead of COP28 beginning on 30th November in Dubai.
The Environment APPG’s nine global goals for climate leadership at COP28:
- Get the loss and damage fund up and running as soon as possible
- Reach consensus on phasing out fossil fuels
- Triple renewable energy by 2030
- Double the investment in energy efficiency by 2030
- Pay attention to how the Earth’s resources are used
- Transform land use to end deforestation and boost food security
- Withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty
- Set the gold standard for international marine protection
- Follow through on the Global Methane Pledge to ensure the 2030 targets are met
Chris Skidmore, Chair of the Environment APPG, said: “The UK must double down on its climate leadership, to be both ambitious and tenacious in our journey towards net zero. This means taking action both domestically and on the world stage, ensuring we have the same enthusiasm for achieving our existing climate goals as our ambition for setting new targets.”
Caroline Lucas MP said: “The importance of securing a rapid, fair and global phase out of fossil fuels at COP28 cannot be overstated. I’m urging the prime minister to seize this opportunity to show strong climate leadership on the world stage, and work with international allies to secure this agreement, otherwise our chance to keep global heating below 1.5C will be in serious jeopardy.”
Afzal Khan MP said: “A serious commitment to climate finance for loss and damage at this year’s COP28 conference is absolutely to support individuals who are made refugees in their own country as a result of extreme weather events. It is thought there will be 1.2 billion climate refugees in the next 25 years, with the impacts of climate change worsening, acting now is the only viable option.”
Wera Hobhouse MP: “Methane has 80 times the warming effect of CO2, so it is essential that the Global Methane Pledge becomes more than just words on a page. For the UK, this means we need a ban on oil and gas flaring and venting in the North Sea, and leadership to help other countries take similar steps.”
Angela Francis, director of policy solutions at WWF, said: “Every increment of warming will result in loss and damage, especially to the most vulnerable countries and communities, most of which have contributed little to causing the problem. Substantial new funding pledges, including from the UK, will therefore be required at COP28 to make the loss and damage fund operational and effective.”
Estelle Brachlianoff, chief executive of Veolia, said: “There is an urgent need to speed up the pace of change and find innovative ways to implement solutions to climate change. This year’s COP conference should focus on enabling the biggest levers of change to reduce emissions and support investment in the world’s green economies.”