Climate Change

The Secretary of State Was Asked – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th July 2017.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North 12:00 am, 11th July 2017

What steps the Government are taking to support the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The United Kingdom was instrumental in securing the Paris agreement on climate change. We are helping other countries to meet their targets and we are confident that we will be able to meet our own groundbreaking target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

Last week, Downing Street said that the Prime Minister intended to challenge President Trump on climate change at the G20 meeting. Would it not have been better to do that before he announced that the United States was pulling out of the Paris agreement, rather than after?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

As I have told the House before, we have repeatedly made our views clear to the US Administration. We have expressed our dismay that they have withdrawn, but on the other hand all Members, on both sides of the House, should in all fairness acknowledge that the United States has made and continues to make, even under this Administration, substantial progress in reducing greenhouse gasses. This country has reduced CO2 emissions by 42% since 1990, despite a 67% increase in GDP; the United States has achieved comparable progress, and we intend to encourage it on that path.

Photo of Khalid Mahmood Khalid Mahmood Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) (Europe)

Following Donald Trump’s isolation on the issue of the Paris agreement at last week’s G20 summit, and his further postponement of his visit to the UK, I ask the Secretary of State a simple question: do the Government still regard President Trump as the leader of the free world? If so, how do they rate the job he is doing, as a mark out of 10?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I hesitate to say it, but we certainly regard as very considerable the Prime Minister’s achievement in getting the US President to sign up to the G20 agreement on climate change, as she did.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Absolutely right. The Prime Minister was instrumental in getting the Americans to sign up to the communiqué. Members on both sides of the House will appreciate that whatever their disagreements with the current incumbent of the White House, the President of the United States is the leader of our most important ally, and he therefore deserves this country’s respect and consideration.