Climate Change, the Environment and Global Development

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 3:19 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 3:19 pm, 10th July 2019

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for that point. Most of the committee’s critique of the Government is fair, but we are about to publish updates on 80% of the actions. In many we have signalled a clear policy intent, for example on future home standards. A lot of progress is being made, and I agree with his point.

On 27 June, we set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK by 2050. That world-leading target will bring to an end our contribution to climate change, and makes the UK the first major economy to legislate for a net zero target. The UK also has a strong track record on international development, through our legal commitment to provide 0.7% of our gross national income as official development assistance. Alongside efforts to reduce our own emissions, we have committed to work with developing countries, including as part of our ODA, to enable them to pursue clean growth and climate-resilient development. We are on track to provide £5.8 billion of climate aid—our international climate finance—to help developing countries tackle the causes and impacts of climate change between 2016 and 2020.

That climate aid is delivering real results. Since 2011, we have helped more than 47 million people cope with the effects of climate change and natural disasters. We have provided 17 million people with access to clean energy. But it is still not enough. As the International Development Committee noted, it is not a problem that can be solved by Government action alone. We need businesses, communities and individuals to also act. It will be really challenging: real shifts in behaviour and global ambition will be needed, and there can be no more business as usual.

The next few years are critical. That is why tackling the crisis has become such a high priority for the UK, and it is why we have offered to preside over the major UN climate summit next year—COP 26—in partnership with Italy.