Drawing on the economic, geopolitical and scientific cases for action on climate change, UK Energy and Climate Change secretary The Rt Hon Chris…
Drawing on the economic, geopolitical and scientific cases for action on climate change, UK Energy and Climate Change secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP has restated his ambition for a national and global commitment to limit emissions, in three key speeches delivered in London.
Speech 1: The economics of climate change
Beginning with the economics of climate change, in a speech to the UK Corporate Leaders Group on 29 June 2011 the secretary of state set out the Government’s arguments for further investment in green infrastructure, industries and technologies:
We need a vibrant, new economy - one that is resource-efficient; that saves money; that boosts productivity - where British innovation and research can deliver new success in engineering and manufacturing, with dynamic low-carbon markets driving the products and processes that will build the future.
Speech 2: The geopolitics of climate change
On 7 July 2011, The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP delivered the second speech - on the geopolitics of climate change - to the Future Maritime Operations Conference at the Royal United Services Institute. He addressed the repercussions of global warming, looking at the effects on food, water, health and security. He said:
We have already seen civil wars compounded by water stress, in Darfur. Regional conflicts fuelled by resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Food prices prompting riots in Bangladesh.
Climate change is the force that threatens to unify and magnify these pressures. It will focus and concentrate existing tensions, fracturing states and destroying societies. So far, we have not done enough to stop it. We still have time to mobilise: but that time is rapidly running out. Doing nothing is not an option.
The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP was interviewed by British Forces News about his climate security speech. Watch the interview on the British Force News website.
Speech 3: The art and the science of climate change
Speaking on the timetable and deadlines for action on climate change, the secretary of state delivered his third speech at Chatham House on 21 July 2011. In it he pointed out that to avoid technically catastrophic levels of climate change, global emissions must peak by 2020 at the latest and that the world economy needs to have moved onto a low-carbon path by the middle of this decade. He said:
This Parliament will end in 2015. If we have not achieved a global deal by then, we will struggle to peak emissions by 2020. It will be more expensive, more divisive, and more difficult.
This is the last Parliament with a chance to avoid catastrophic climate change.