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Global Climate Agreement

Volume 585: debated on Thursday 4 September 2014

If we are to meet the objective of the convention and avoid dangerous climate change, it is imperative that we secure an international, legally binding agreement, with mitigation commitments for all, in Paris in 2015. To facilitate that, I have pressed our case at a number of international ministerial climate change meetings this year, as well as bilaterally with my counterparts in Governments and with other key actors across the globe, including in China, the US and India. I will, as usual, attend the United Nations framework convention on climate change ministerial conference of parties in December this year, and I will also attend the UN Secretary-General’s climate summit in September, which will be the first meeting of leaders focused solely on climate change since 2009. Closer to home, I am continuing to push for EU agreement to an ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 40%, including by convening the green growth group of Ministers.

Climate change will affect the poorest people in the poorest parts of the world. Can the Secretary of State confirm that he is working with officials and Ministers at the Department for International Development, and that the Government are looking to make an announcement about initial capitalisation of the international green climate fund before the Ban Ki-moon summit?

I can certainly confirm that we work across Government—not just my Department and DFID but other Departments as well—to ensure that the international climate finance fund that we announced at the beginning of our time in office is wisely spent, particularly to help the poorest, most vulnerable and most exposed.

On the hon. Gentleman’s other question, we will make a capital bid to the green climate fund, but I do not think we will necessarily announce it before the UN Secretary-General’s New York summit.

The Chinese President has just said that he will not attend Ban Ki-moon’s summit, which follows Prime Minister Modi of India saying the same. Given the statement that the Environment Ministers of the BASIC countries—Brazil, South Africa, India and China—issued in New Delhi recently, does the Secretary of State share my concern that it looks like countries such as India and China are rowing back from their enthusiasm for pushing for an international climate agreement?

No, I do not. In my visits to Beijing and Delhi I see the reverse. I see the Chinese taking climate change more seriously than they have ever done, not just in what they say at the international table but in the actions they take—massive investment in renewable energy and low-carbon energy such as nuclear—not least because of the impact of air pollution in some of their cities on the eastern border. Equally for India, I think that Prime Minister Modi will be a global leader on this issue.