The UN summit on climate change has “successfully fired the starting gun” to a critical fifteen months of climate diplomacy, according to UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.
The summit, held in New York, saw major initiatives on climate, as over 120 leaders gathered on Tuesday 23 September to offer high level political support and momentum to efforts for a global climate deal at the key Paris summit in December 2015. The Prime Minister addressed the United Nations confirming the UK;s on-going leadership and commitment.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said:
“This has been a strong start to the huge efforts that will be needed to bring home the world’s first ever global deal on climate in Paris next year. We’ve seen politicians respond to the public demand to tackle climate change, with initiatives like the New York Declaration on Forests and new UK commitments to fund more projects to tackle deforestation.
“The New Climate Economy Study, which the UK helped commission, has made a major impact in the discussions round this summit and we’re increasingly winning the core argument that countries can grow, develop ad cut poverty while they tackle climate change. I’m proud that the UK continues to provide global leadership on climate change as we go into these next critical 15 months of negotiations.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said:
“I know a good deal when I see one, and that’s what we hope to achieve in Paris next year. For our climate change agreement to be lasting and successful it must result in long-term economic stability and growth for everyone. The move to a green economy offers great opportunity but this can only come if world leaders unite to provide certainty, clarity and confidence.
“The UK is a global leader in developing cost effective policies and innovative technologies so that growth and decarbonisation can now be seen as both sides of the same coin – Paris 2015 is a singular opportunity for generations across the world to share in that future.”
The UK has agreed to the New York Declaration on Forests, which brings together a coalition of governments, companies, multilaterals, NGOs and indigenous representatives around an ambitious target of halving the rate of natural forest loss by 2020, and halting it by 2030.
The UK has also built on the success of the ‘REDD+ programme designed to tackle deforestation. This follows the announcement of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ last November which has seen a snowballing of private sector commitments, and significant progress in various multilateral funds and bilateral partnerships. This includes announcements today that the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes will establish its first two country programmes in Ethiopia and Zambia. The UK has committed £45million to this programme.
Edward Davey added:
“The New York Declaration on Forests is a significant achievement, bringing together for the first time a coalition of governments, companies, multilaterals, NGOs and indigenous representatives around an ambitious target of halving the rate of forest loss by 2020, and halting it by 2030.
“Private sector commitments to deforestation-free supply chains are a real game-changer, and public-private partnerships have great potential to align economic incentives in the countries that are committed to taking action.
“The UK is delivering and last year announced we stood ready to provide further finance to the Carbon Fund if sufficient programmes were approved. Today we are acting on that promise and I can announce the UK is contributing an additional £45m (USD73m) to the Fund.”
Climate change Minister Amber Rudd also announced that the UK will cut further emissions from pollutant gases through the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). The CCAC has brought governments, industry and international organisations together to cut Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane and HFCs which are extremely potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) and currently account for 40% of all GHG emissions.
Amber Rudd said:
“I am delighted to support the launch of the CCAC’s Oil and Gas Methane Partnership – which the UK has been actively promoting with our companies at home. I have written to a number of companies, following on from meetings held by my predecessor, to encourage them to join. And I’m pleased that the BG group has already done so.”
Notes to editors:
- The UK is also taking a leading role in encouraging international actions, including pushing for ambitious EUI energy and climate package that will lead to at least a 40% domestic reduction in EU greenhouse emissions by 2030 on 1990 levels.
- The prospects for a global deal are good but we face challenges in delivering an agreement in line with our vision. The lead up to Paris will be important in building more political ambition and ensuring all countries prepare for the new agreement. The UK, together with the EU, is working hard to make the deal happen.
- A global deal is in everyone’s interests. The deal needs to be optimistic and have longevity – but it also needs to be realistic in what can be achieved at this moment in time.
- This will include serious commitment and action from all countries, in particular the USS, China, India and Europe.
- This week The New Climate Economy report: ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ showed us that across key sectors of the world economy there is opportunity for low-carbon growth to drive investment, providing jobs as well as better health, business productivity and quality of life – but only if we act now.