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Climate Change: International Co-operation

Volume 653: debated on Tuesday 22 January 2019

13. What recent assessment he has made on the progress of international co-operation on climate change. (908706)

Lucky 13 for the right hon. Gentleman! The agreement of the rulebook for the Paris agreement at the 24th conference of the parties in Katowice in Poland last month, which I attended, was a crucial step forward, but all our assessments conclude that the current level of global ambition is not enough to meet the Paris goals of just over three years ago. We need unprecedented and rapid action to reduce emissions and build resilience.

I concur with the Minister. For all those reasons, will he ensure that, if the President of the United States visits this country in July, climate change will be central so that we can put it on the agenda of America, which is the power best able to influence world opinion on this issue?

I very much hope so. I was at the climate change summit in San Francisco in September, and interestingly it is not just the state of California but other US states that take this very seriously. There is, then, a lot of pressure from within the US, but obviously we will keep up that pressure in every way we can, both bilaterally and in multilateral forums.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Does the Minister agree that climate change is a strategic threat to our prosperity and security? If so, why is it no longer mentioned in the 28 objectives in his departmental plan?

It is very much an important part of my own plan. As the hon. Lady will appreciate, I attended last year’s meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru and will attend the next one in Tuvalu—these issues are existential for many of those Pacific islands. I am sorry she feels that we are not giving this enough attention. I am proud of the work the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is doing with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which lead on this issue; we work very closely together in a range of different forums and will continue to do so.