Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the UK will move forward with its domestic ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and will join a group of top countries to bring the Paris deal into the full force of law.
This announcement has been welcomed by Christian Aid.
Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, said:
A leading group of Governments including the UK is rapidly bringing the Paris Agreement into life.
“There has been unprecedented political momentum across the globe towards getting the Paris Agreement ratified and it will likely now come into force by the end of the year.
“Led by both vulnerable developing countries, as well as the USA and China, the UK was in danger of falling behind. But this commitment shows the Prime Minister is keen to ensure the UK builds on its good work in Paris to secure the agreement and is determined to stay in the leading pack.
“The Prime Minister’s words send the right signals to international allies, businesses and industry that the UK is committed to tackling climate change and accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.
“Theresa May can now back up this international effort by ensuring all her Government departments put in place more ambitious low carbon policies to make the Paris deal a reality. Climate change is an urgent and pressing issue for the UK, so the Prime Minister should chair a cross-Government committee to ensure faster progress on cutting emissions.
“It’s now time that other European leaders followed suit and quickly announced their own ratification plans so that the EU can formally ratify the agreement as soon as possible.”
The Prime Minister’s announcement was made during a speech to the United Nations debate on the global Sustainable Development Goals.
Conservative Parliamentarians from the Conservative Environment Network welcomed the announcement. A statement from Caroline Ansell, MP, Richard Benyon MP, James Heappey MP, Jeremy Lefroy MP, Rebecca Pow MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, and Lord Barker of Battle, said: “This is terrific news. The UK, and Conservative ministers, played a strong part in securing the Paris Agreement. The world is moving to a more productive, efficient, low carbon economy. With China, the US and over 50 other countries ratifying, it is clear the Agreement has widespread support.
“The UK government led the way to a sustainable economy through the Climate Change Act and a number of other mechanisms. It had committed to ratifying as soon as possible, and we are very pleased to see this happening. We are confident it lays the foundation for a better future, and we look forward to the economic dynamism it will unleash.”
Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, a forum representing 128 European investors managing over €13 trn in assets, said: “IIGCC warmly welcomes Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that the UK is firmly behind the Paris Agreement and intends to ratify it within a matter of weeks. The low carbon transition presents a huge opportunity for investors in renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure and other areas.
“The Paris Agreement gives an unequivocal signal to investors, so we now look forward to swift action by ministers to implement the policy measures and regulatory frameworks required to ensure climate action and risk disclosure are placed front and centre of the UK’s efforts to secure strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.”
Neil Thorns, advocacy director at CAFOD and chair of the Climate Coalition, whose members range from the Women’s Institute to the National Trust and which represents 15 million supporters, said: “We’re delighted that the voices of so many British people who have been calling for action on climate change have been heard today. We congratulate the the Prime Minister on beginning the ratification process, demonstrating the urgent need to protect all the things we love that could be lost to climate change, and we look forward to working with her government to develop a low-carbon plan for the British economy.”
Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business: “The UK has long been a leader in climate policy. The commitment from the PM to ratify the Paris Agreement builds on the recent approval of the 5th carbon budget to maintain that leadership and provides a strong signal to business that will drive increased investments in the UK. It also sends a signal to other members of the EU that should lead to ratification from them, which will be enough to trigger entry into force this year.”
Nick Mabey, CEO, E3G: “In joining the US and China in ratifying the Paris Agreement Britain is upholding its long history of global climate leadership and showing it remains a major international player. Ratification will help protect the British people from climate change and open opportunities in the global clean economy for British businesses.”