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Climate Action

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 15 December 2020

As conference of the parties president, I have held bilateral meetings with over 40 countries and spoken at around 50 international events over the past months. Throughout, I have called for world leaders to be as ambitious as possible with the climate action targets. The UK is showing real leadership in this area. On 4 December, we announced our new, ambitious nationally determined contribution and on 12 December, we co-hosted the Climate Ambition Summit, which saw 75 world leaders coming forward with 45 NDCs, 24 net zero commitments and 20 adaptation resilience plans.

The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow next year as the UK hosts the UN Climate Change Conference. This is a huge moment in our fight to stop climate change, so how will the UK Government engage with schools in Scotland and across the whole United Kingdom to promote this important event?

My hon. Friend is right: it is going to be a big moment for the UK in Glasgow next year and, of course, in the lead-up to it as well. I have been very encouraged and impressed by the commitment that young people are showing in tackling climate change. They have a vital part to play in ensuring that we deliver an inclusive and diverse COP26. In the run-up to the summit, we will be working closely with schools and young people, including by co-hosting the COP youth event, which will bring together 400 youth delegates from around the world to discuss a range of climate topics.

According to Climate Action Tracker, the national net zero pledges that have been put forward today could, if achieved across the board, limit global heating to around 2.1°, but in terms of actual policies, the world remains on course for catastrophic warming of over 3°. Given the gulf between what Governments, including this Government, have promised on climate action and what they are on course to achieve, does the Secretary of State agree that it is incumbent on the UK as COP26 host to demonstrate to the world that it actually has a plan to deliver net zero? If he does agree, will he assure the House that the Government will publish a comprehensive and fully costed net zero strategy well in advance of November next year?

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. I said that at the climate ambition summit. Leaders from around the world have come forward with ambitions, but we absolutely need to go further. I agree with the hon. Gentleman, and I think there is consensus on it in the House. With regard to his question on a net zero strategy, of course we will publish one. I also just want to make the point that, when we were talking about clean energy and hydrogen earlier, I stated that the Hydrogen Strategy Now group made a commitment on the £3 billion after the 10-point plan, but in fact it came before that.