A group of leading environment and development NGOs have urged David Cameron to act fast on his climate pledges, making early decisions to support energy efficiency, renewables and low carbon vehicles, and to ensure the UK plays a full role in global climate negotiations this December.
The Prime Minister should use the opportunity at the G7 conference this week to support a global goal to reduce overall carbon emissions to zero by the middle of this century, reflecting the commitment made in the UK’s Climate Change Act, and make the case for protecting the world’s poorest from serious climate change impacts.
David Cameron signed a cross party agreement in February, committing to seek a strong global climate deal and accelerate the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.
The NGOs today publish an action plan for the new government
, which sets out a timeline of key decisions needed. Apart from action at the G7, these include:
• Clarity on energy transition:
set a date to end unabated coal power generation in the early 2020s, to increase investment in new clean power generation.
• Leadership on energy efficiency:
set the goal to make two million of the UK’s low income homes energy efficient, addressing concerns that the Conservative manifesto lowered previous coalition government commitments to helping householders save energy.
Loretta Minghella, chief executive, Christian Aid, said:
“Climate change is already hitting the poorest first and hardest. Fine words have been spoken, and world leaders must now take the strong action that is urgently needed to protect the lives and livelihoods of people around the world. This is a moral imperative. David Cameron’s international leadership on ending extreme poverty has been impressive. To secure that progress for the world’s poorest will require his equal commitment to action on the climate challenge too.”
David Nussbaum, chief executive, WWF, said:
“The Prime Minister has shown vision by committing his government to lead on climate change in Paris, but domestic reality must match the international rhetoric. That means a real push on energy efficiency to ensure warmer homes, and a stable framework for investment in renewables to support forward looking business leaders.
“This month thousands will converge on Westminster to make sure that MPs hold the Prime Minister to his promises. They know that failure to act now will threaten things they love and weaken our ability to compete in a world that is rapidly embracing low carbon technologies, energy and infrastructure.”
Mike Clarke, chief executive, RSPB, said:
“Nature is awe inspiring. It underpins our economy and our well-being – it is not just a ‘nice to have’. If we limit global warming to two degrees, it will dramatically reduce the number of species currently at risk of extinction because of climate change.”
Responding to the plan, Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer, Aviva Investors, said:
“This week’s G7 can help create space for an ambitious global agreement in Paris later this year. Continuing leadership from the Prime Minister this week will be essential to securing political agreement to limiting climate change to two degrees.”
Alastair Harper, Head of politics
A UK climate plan 2015: delivering the Prime Minister's climate pledge
is a collaboration between CAFOD, Christian Aid, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, RSPB and WWF