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Climate Change: UK as a Global Leader

Volume 689: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2021

What recent assessment he has made of the UK’s progress on becoming a global leader on tackling climate change in preparation for COP26. (912521)

The UK is leading from the front and has made significant commitments under all three pillars of the Paris agreement, which, as the President set out, are: mitigation, finance and adaptation and resilience. We are continuing to press for ambition internationally, and we are discussing climate action with world leaders. Our nationally determined contribution, of course, sets the highest level of emission reductions by 2030 of any major economy.

Angel Gurría, the outgoing secretary- general of the OECD, has urged countries to attach environmental conditions to bail-outs, to prioritise a green recovery with environmental jobs and to

“put a big fat price on carbon.”

So will the UK Government take his advice?

We are leading the way in making sure that we do that as part of our building back better and greener. I am co-chairing, with the Department for Education, a green jobs taskforce, to make sure we are able both to upskill and to train all the new skills that are going to be needed for those new industries.

Improving air quality is an essential part of our work to tackle the climate emergency, yet the Government refused to back Labour’s call to make sure that air quality targets meet World Health Organisation guidelines by 2030. What will the Minister do to ensure that we are truly world-leading in our efforts to reduce emissions?

As President Sharma has set out, we are absolutely world-leading in tackling our carbon dioxide emissions, and part of the work with our landmark Environment Bill will be in getting to grips with this and leading again worldwide, so that others can follow on air quality.