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Policy Objectives

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 9 June 2021

Our overarching objective is to keep within reach the target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. To do that, we are asking countries to set out ambitious emissions reduction commitments, come forward with plans to protect communities and nature, mobilise finance and reach agreement on the outstanding elements of the Paris rulebook.

Mr Speaker, you will remember when David Cameron was hugging huskies, and I thought it was a great idea to try to do something to save the planet, so I got rid of my polluting petrol car, bought a biofuel car and then discovered that I was destroying the rainforest. I knew what to do next: get carbon dioxide down and buy a diesel car; now I know that when I drive along the street I am poisoning people. Could the President of COP26 please give me some advice? Before I buy an electric car, will he assure me that the mining of cobalt and lithium is not killing people in the mines, or would it just be easier for me to buy a horse?

That would certainly be sustainable. I am really pleased to hear that my hon. Friend is indeed a climate activist at heart; it is a revelation for all of us. It is great that he has made a decision to purchase an electric vehicle. I can tell him that he will not be disappointed. Plug-in grants are available and he knows that the Government are also backing the sector with almost £3 billion-worth of support.

As the President of COP26 knows, the International Energy Agency latest world energy outlook makes it clear that a net zero pathway for global energy requires that there be no new fossil fuel supply beyond projects already committed to as of this year. That means not just coal, but oil and gas. The report reinforces the obvious need to secure agreement on a global framework for a managed and fair phase-out of fossil fuels. Will the President therefore tell the House whether he accepts the IEA’s conclusion and, if so, whether ending all new fossil fuel supply from next year will be incorporated into the objectives of the UK’s presidency of COP26?

I actually commissioned that report and I am very pleased that it is so substantive. The hon. Gentleman is right: we need to make sure that we help all countries with a clean energy transition, and that is what we are doing through the work of the COP26 Energy Transition Council.