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Climate Change

Volume 673: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2020

13. What progress the Government have made on tackling climate change through international co-operation. (901589)

Climate change is one of the most urgent and pressing international challenges we face today and no country alone can solve this problem. As COP presidents, in partnership with Italy, we are driving forward the historic agreement secured in Paris. The year 2020 is crucial for international co-operation on climate, which is why this is a cross-Government priority. The Prime Minister and other Ministers are working hard to make COP26 a success.

Does my hon. Friend agree that central to delivering a successful COP is the UK playing a leadership role in the international community and pushing our global friends to more ambitious climate targets?

Absolutely. This is something the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and all my colleagues on the Front Bench take very seriously. We use every opportunity to raise this issue in bilateral meetings and in relation to business. It is vital that the world comes together and takes renewed action to limit global warming to 1.5°. We urge every country to come forward in 2020 with ambitious new nationally determined contributions that will help us to meet the commitments set out under the 2015 Paris agreement.

Department for International Development contributions to the international climate fund between 2011 and 2017 were matched almost pound for pound by Department for International Trade funding for fossil fuel projects. Is it not the Secretary of State’s job to ensure that the UK engages consistently with international partners? What steps is he taking to make that happen?

The Government have a good record in that field. As I said, the Foreign Secretary, the Prime Minister and all our Ministers are taking huge steps to encourage the world to come together to take renewed action and to use COP26 to deliver the climate change agenda.