In the House of Commons on Wednesday (24th February), MPs posed questions to the full-time President of the UN COP26 climate conference, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, focusing on the steps the Government are taking to ensure tackling climate change remains a priority for this Government, despite the ongoing pandemic. I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a bit more about COP26 itself, and the UK’s global role in the fight to save our environment, as well as today’s debate.
COP26 is the global united Nations summit, taking place this year, on climate change and how countries are planning to tackle it, and in November 2021 the UK will be hosting the summit in Glasgow. Here, we will bring together world leaders, climate experts, business leaders and citizens to agree ambitious action to tackle climate change, arguably the most significant threat facing the UK and the world. It’s clear that if governments and people don't take action now to reduce CO2 emissions, we could cause irreparable harm to the planet.
The UK has already taken the lead in this regard and last year became the first major economy to set a legally binding target to achieve zero net greenhouse emissions by 2050. As hosts of COP26, the UK will play an important part in ensuring nations from across the globe take the steps required to achieve the ambitious changes set out by the Paris Agreement.
For more information about COP 26, please visit here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/cop26
Furthermore, we will be hosting the G7 summit in Cornwall in June this year, which is an intergovernmental organisation made up of the world's seven largest ‘advanced’ economies: the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and France. We are unified by our community of values, and the prominent matter we will be discussing in June is climate change, and how we can lead the world in the fight to save our planet, build back after the pandemic and create a greener future.
The Government’s page on G7 UK 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/g7-uk-2021b
During the Oral Questions session in the House of Commons today, my colleague, the President of COP 26, said the following:
“We have made progress over the past year, with net zero commitments from countries collectively accounting for 70% of global GDP and 75 world leaders announcing climate commitments at the climate ambition summit that the UK hosted last December with the UN and France. However, as I said at the time, we still have some way to go and 2021 will need to be a critical year for climate action.
“Domestically, the Government have set out their 10-point plan, their energy White Paper and an ambitious nationally determined contribution. Over the past year, the Prime Minister and I, and other Ministers and officials, have regularly engaged with counterparts around the world to raise climate action ambition.
“It is of course very good news that the G7 is to be held in Cornwall, which is, as we know, a powerhouse for green innovation. It is home to pioneering offshore renewables technology, as well as the first geothermal plant in the UK, and I am sure it will play an important role as we seek to build back better and greener throughout the whole of our country.”
To read the full transcript from today’s session in the House, please visit: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-02-24/debates/7EB032E4-FB1F-…
These are two absolutely vital summits, and I am proud to see the UK is hosting both, in what is going to be an absolutely pivotal year in our fight against global warming. As we have led the way with our Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, we will also lead the world in tackling the great environmental challenge of our time.