Policy

Supporting international action on climate change

Supporting detail:

Leading the diplomatic effort to mitigate climate change

The government is working with other countries to build an understanding of the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities for action. We build capacity for action by funding practical projects that match the priorities of different countries to the areas we have expertise in. We also share information about what the UK is doing to mitigate climate change.

Practical projects

We are working on 200 projects that aim to:

  • share UK expertise
  • help countries build capacity to act against climate change
  • build confidence in various countries to sign up to an international agreement

We are focusing on countries like India, China and Brazil because their decisions on climate policy will have a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades.

Results

We are working on a range of different climate change issues according to the needs and opportunities presented in individual countries.

Working on low carbon growth with China

In January 2011 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Low Carbon Co-operation with China. With a view to supporting the Chinese government’s strategy to promote low carbon development in China, this partnership pairs the UK with 3 of China’s low carbon zones to support the development of:

  • emissions trading schemes
  • low carbon product standards
  • low carbon and sustainable planning for urban and industrial development

We also have a Memorandum of Understanding on Climate Change with China (PDF, 35.6KB) that enables us to work on a wide range of projects to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change with various partners at national, provincial and city levels.

These have included work identifying the barriers to carbon capture, utilisation and storage in China, analysis of potential for wind power development, planning and design of eco-cities, and the development of a Chinese version of the 2050 Pathways Calculator.

Sharing experience on climate change legislation in Mexico

In April 2012 Mexico adopted climate change legislation that is closely modelled on our Climate Change Act. Denmark, Sweden and Ireland are also about to introduce legislation modelled on our climate change policy.

Collaborating on emissions trading policy with South Korea

South Korea’s emission trading scheme, announced in May 2012, is the first of its kind in Asia. It was encouraged by policy collaboration with the UK.

Highlighting the security implications of climate change

In March 2012 the UK hosted an international conference on the security implications of climate change. This emphasised the price we will pay for inaction on climate change.

Helping developing countries

We have set up the International Climate Fund (ICF) to help developing countries take action against climate change and adapt to the effects of global warming. We will spend £2.9 billion on this fund between 2011 and 2015.

Target

We support the goal of a 2°C limit on global warming, as agreed at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009. To meet this goal the current rise in global carbon emissions needs to be reversed and start to fall by 2020.

Global emissions need to be reduced by at least 50% of 1990 levels by the middle of the century. A study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that achieving this reduction is technologically and economically possible if governments act now.

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