COP28: Rishi Sunak to call for ‘pragmatic’ climate action at conference after green U-turn earlier this year | Political news

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Mr Sunak previously reversed a series of green pledges made by his predecessors – and also pledged to continue issuing new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea.

By Tim Baker, political journalist


Thursday, November 30, 2023 10:59 p.m., United Kingdom

Rishi Sunak will call for “pragmatic” climate action at COP28, as he seeks to reassure international partners following his climate U-turn earlier this year.

Mr Sunak changed a number of plans put in place by his predecessors over the summer – including phasing out the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The deadline is now set at 2035.

Some £4 billion of green investment was announced by the Chancellor in last week’s Autumn Statement.

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Union leader Sir Keir Starmer will also attend the United Nations climate conference in Dubai as he seeks to build international bridges ahead of general elections scheduled for next year.

And he took advantage of his trip to Dubai to say Mr SunakThe US government is “sending the wrong signals” on the path to net zero emissions.

Ahead of his visit, Mr Sunak said “the UK has led the way in making pragmatic, long-term decisions at home – and nationally”. COP28 we will lead international efforts to protect the world’s forests, boost renewable energy and leverage the full weight of private finance.”

The Prime Minister will announce £1.6 billion of UK funding for climate projects during his stay in Dubai.

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This includes £500 million for sustainable forests and lands, £316 million for green energy projects around the world and other programs to be announced later.

Some £40m will go towards a new global program to address loss and damage: Germany and the UAE will give around £79m, while the US and Japan will give less than the United Kingdom.

In addition to his climate change, the Prime Minister has also been criticized for his government’s policies. continued issuance of oil and gas licenses in the North Sea.

“We are a world leader on climate”

Learn more:
What is COP28, who is participating and what are the issues?
Sunak and Sir Keir head to COP28 in Dubai

Mr Sunak said: “The world has made ambitious commitments at previous COP summits to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. But the time for commitments is now over: it is time for action.

“We know the technologies and innovations we need to protect the planet are within reach, from the powerful offshore wind farms that power the UK to the solar power that transforms Africa’s electricity.

“The transition to net zero should make us all safer and better off. It must benefit ordinary families, not a burden.”

Starmer asked if he could be trusted

Mr Sunak will also use the summit to speak to world leaders about the conflict in the Middle East.

Sir Keir, meanwhile, will use the summit to push forward his plans to encourage investment and green business in the UK if he becomes Prime Minister.

But Labor recently had to deny that it was watering down its promise to invest £28 billion a year in green initiatives.

This is seen as a target – and will be subject to the “tax rules” imposed by a Labor chancellor if he is in power.

Speaking ahead of his trip, Sir Keir said he wanted to “set the agenda” on green finance – and this will be done by “building partnerships with businesses”.

Labor says it would force FTSE 100 companies to publish their carbon footprint and adhere to “credible” plans to limit climate change to an increase of 1.5C.

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