Reaction: Paris Climate Change Agreement Will Come Into Force



Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury and former Environment Minister, has welcomed the Paris climate change agreement now that it will come into force next month [1], and said it will enhance opportunities for British industry:

“The speedy ratification of the Paris climate agreement is fantastic news. The Prime Minister and her Cabinet are to be congratulated for signaling unequivocally Britain’s backing, which of course continues the long history of Conservative leadership on tackling climate change stretching back to Margaret Thatcher,” he said.

“Britain now has a real chance to cement the opportunities presented by the low-carbon transition into the heart of a new industrial strategy, as Greg Clark highlighted in his Conference speech yesterday.

“The reality is that Britain is engaged on a transition to clean energy – today’s news that solar power generated more electricity that coal-fired power stations over the last six months is the latest indication that new, clean technologies are supplanting the dirty ones of the last century – and we’re excellently placed to shine as this new industrial revolution gathers pace.” [2]

Guy Smith, National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice President, also welcomed the news:

“Following the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, its ratification this year by a majority of world Governments opens the door to a wealth of opportunities for farmers, at home and worldwide, to deliver clean energy alongside other beneficial environmental outcomes,” he said.

“NFU members are on the front line of climate change, and among the first to see the impacts of extreme weather events such as flooding and drought. Tackling both the causes and effects of climate change will be vital to make our food supply more resilient.

“Farmers need to be investing in better buildings, better drainage, and better irrigation in the face of increasingly volatile weather – and they need profitable business income from both food and non-food production to enable those investments.”

Marylyn Haines Evans, Chair of Public Affairs Committee, National Federation of Women’s Institutes said that globally, women are often most vulnerable to climate change:

“The WI has campaigned on environmental issues for many years, and we’re proud that so many of our members have joined calls for action to tackle the threat posed by climate change. It poses risks to so many things, like the British countryside that we love and want to preserve for future generations, and to women worldwide, who are often most vulnerable to the changing climate,” she said.

The approval of the Paris Agreement is fantastic news, but it does not mean that the problem is solved.

“We will keep working with our members to make sure that climate change remains a priority with our leaders in the coming months and years, and one of the top priorities must be to keep building clean, sustainable energy for everyone in Britain.”

Lord Michael Howard of Lympne commented:

“Politics has thrown up many surprises in recent months, but in many ways the Paris Agreement is the most remarkable. For such a deal to be brought into force less than a year after its agreement is almost unprecedented in the history of the United Nations, and signals unequivocally the desire of all nations to move forward together and find a solution to the problem of climate change.

“For Britain, the agreement presents clear opportunities for our businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that the global transition to a low-carbon economy presents. This is true now more than ever as we look to forge new global partnerships, where British expertise in sectors like offshore wind, low-emission vehicles and clean finance are already in demand.

“The Prime Minister and her new Cabinet are to be congratulated for signaling their support for the Paris Agreement, and ensuring that Britain retains its place at the heart of this profoundly important global treaty.”



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