Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has revealed that the UK will be seeking a legally binding climate change agreement at negotiations later this year. However, he has also voiced concerns that the deal will not go far enough to avert dangerous levels of climate change.
Davey’s comments come after policymakers met in Lima, Peru, in December to lay the groundwork for the agreement. Late this year at UN climate change negotiations in Paris they will reconvene to agree on a universal treaty. The target is to the limit global warming to a 2C increase above pre-industrial levels, past this point scientists have warned that climate change effects, from rising sea levels to heatwaves, will become more frequent, intense and difficult to predict.
According to the Guardian, Davey told MPs on the parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee that the UK would be seeking a legally-binding agreement from the talks in December but voiced concerns that an agreement would not go far enough.
He said, “I think [a legally binding agreement] would give the greatest boost to confidence that we can tackle climate change and also to investors and industry and entrepreneurs to develop the technology that will be needed as we tackle this challenge.”
However, Davey noted that the objective of Paris was to keep the 2C global warming limit goal in reach, adding, “I’m not expecting it, I regret, the commitment we will see in the Paris agreement will get us to 2C, unfortunately”.
“I want to be as close as possible, because increasingly my view is we will get an agreement in Paris, but my fear is it will not be ambitious enough and raising ambition levels is really what the climate diplomacy and climate politics of 2015 is all about,” he continued.
Prime minister David Cameron has also called for a strong deal in Paris, stating that the UK is “playing its part” by committing to reducing its emissions by 80% by 2050, as well as £4 billion of climate finance over the next five years.
Environmental organisations and NGOs have been increasingly calling on counties to take the lead by taking decisive action.
Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr
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