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Climate Change

Volume 627: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2017

10. What steps the Government are taking to support the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change. (900347)

The United Kingdom was instrumental in securing the Paris agreement on climate change. We are helping other countries to meet their targets and we are confident that we will be able to meet our own groundbreaking target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.

Last week, Downing Street said that the Prime Minister intended to challenge President Trump on climate change at the G20 meeting. Would it not have been better to do that before he announced that the United States was pulling out of the Paris agreement, rather than after?

As I have told the House before, we have repeatedly made our views clear to the US Administration. We have expressed our dismay that they have withdrawn, but on the other hand all Members, on both sides of the House, should in all fairness acknowledge that the United States has made and continues to make, even under this Administration, substantial progress in reducing greenhouse gases. This country has reduced CO2 emissions by 42% since 1990, despite a 67% increase in GDP; the United States has achieved comparable progress, and we intend to encourage it on that path.

Following Donald Trump’s isolation on the issue of the Paris agreement at last week’s G20 summit, and his further postponement of his visit to the UK, I ask the Secretary of State a simple question: do the Government still regard President Trump as the leader of the free world? If so, how do they rate the job he is doing, as a mark out of 10?

I hesitate to say it, but we certainly regard as very considerable the Prime Minister’s achievement in getting the US President to sign up to the G20 agreement on climate change, as she did.

Absolutely right. The Prime Minister was instrumental in getting the Americans to sign up to the communiqué. Members on both sides of the House will appreciate that whatever their disagreements with the current incumbent of the White House, the President of the United States is the leader of our most important ally, and he therefore deserves this country’s respect and consideration.