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The UK has ratified the Paris Agreement. The UK is already playing its part in delivering the Paris Agreement through our ambitious domestic climate framework. We have shown our commitment to the UK’s Climate Change Act by setting the Fifth Carbon Budget in law. This budget is set in line with the recommendation of the Committee on Climate Change and has been widely welcomed by the business community for the certainty it gives in our move to a low carbon economy. The creation of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will enable a whole economy approach to delivering our climate change ambitions.
I attended COP22 in Marrakech this year. The UK played a significant role in driving forward negotiations and discussions – particularly on mobilising climate finance. At these negotiations, progress was made on how to implement Paris Agreement, setting a clear deadline of 2018 for its finalisation. The UK also announced participation in a number of initiatives, including: supporting developing countries to implement their Paris commitments, tackling air pollution and investing further in research and development. For the first time at a COP, the UK had a Green is GREAT pavilion, showcasing British public and private sector strengths in responding to the challenges of climate change, including innovative commercial solutions and financial expertise.
The UK is supporting vulnerable countries to take action against climate change. The UK will provide at least £5.8bn from the UK aid budget between 2016 and 2020 as climate finance which will continue to provide strong support to help vulnerable developing countries adapt to climate change and take up sustainable, low carbon, resilient and inclusive development. This includes technical assistance and capacity building to help countries implement their national plans under the Paris Agreement. UK climate finance to date has already directly supported 21 million people to cope with the effects of climate change, and improved access to energy for 6.6 million people. The finance has also helped prevent 4.9 million tonnes of CO2, this is roughly equivalent to emissions from 1 million vehicles driven for one year.
We have also recently seen two significant global climate deals that – although separate from the UNFCCC process – will be important steps towards meeting the Paris goals. The UK played a key role in securing a major deal to combat aviation emissions, the first worldwide scheme to address emissions in any single sector, and also in securing a historic deal to phase down the production and use of hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) by 2047, which will avoid 0.5 degrees of global warming by the end of this century. The UK is already phasing down the use of HFCs by 80% by 2030 and now the rest of the world will be following our lead.