We welcome UK Environment APPG’s COP28 priorities

24 November 2023
24 November 2023 sg-admin

We welcome UK Environment APPG’s COP28 priorities

A new report from the UK’s Environment APPG – comprising cross-party MPs and Peers and leading charities and businesses – is promoting nine global goals to restrict the rise in global average temperature to 1.5°C and well below 2°C by 2050 as agreed at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

In addition to listing priorities for the UK’s delegation to COP28, led by Climate Minister Graham Stuart, the APPG issues a clarion call for the UK Government to show climate leadership at the UN Climate Change summit in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December.

In his Foreword to Keeping 1.5 alive: Global goals for climate leadership at COP28 APPG Chair, Chris Skidmore MP, states: “COP28 needs ambition and leadership, especially from high-emitting countries like the UK. The UK must be a climate champion, helping to create consensus around the solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis, recognising they must be equitable solutions to support nations in the Global South.”

Chris Skidmore also points out that when the UK signed its Net Zero by 2050 commitment into law, “We set the standard for international climate leadership,” adding that at COP26, “Thanks to UK leadership, over 40 countries declared their support for the joint statement on transitioning from coal to clean power sources.”

The APPG Chair also states: “As UK parliamentarians, we have both the privilege and responsibility to galvanise the government to fight for the most ambitious climate solutions possible. We know these solutions are highly popular with the public, who expect their parliamentary representatives to be determined in the fight against climate change.”

Peter Coombes, Standard Gas’ Head of Communications and Government Affairs, welcomes the report, which “is certainly aligned with the Net Zero goals of COP21 and the UK’s legal commitments.” But he doubts it will have the desired impact on the UK Government’s delegation to COP28 and identifies an important omission in the priorities. “The UK is already rolling back on its 2019 legal Net Zero commitments, and the report’s priorities make no mention of the need for significant carbon dioxide removals.

“The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified a need for carbon removals to reach 10 billion tonnes a year by 2050, which will need a combination of both natural and technological solutions. Our SG100 technology can contribute to the latter by removing carbon and avoiding the emissions related to other waste management options. But much more investment in broader technology is required.”

Among its nine priorities, the APPG is asking the UK to help get the loss and damage fund, agreed by world leaders last year, up and running as soon as possible to ensure countries on the front line of the climate crisis receive financial support to deal with the fallout of extreme weather events, like flooding and wildfires.

“Shazia Arshsad from the UK-based international NGO, Islamic Relief, made a very powerful point in this regard at the report’s launch in Parliament,” Peter says. “Recounting the devastating 2022 floods that impacted over 8 million people in Pakistan, leaving many homeless and severely damaging the economy, she reminded us how this event has demonstrated how a country least responsible for climate change damage is paying a very high price for its impacts.”

In her comments, APPG Vice Chair, Baroness Young, urged all Parliamentarians to lobby ministers and MPs to tell their constituents to write to minsters telling them that addressing these priorities will help benefit the UK and global environment and promote investment in the green jobs the country needs for economic growth.

Other goals include a push for the UK to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty, which allows fossil-fuel companies to sue foreign governments if they pass legislation which impacts their profits, and also for the UK to help establish a consensus on the need to phase out fossil fuels.

The nine priorities are:

  • Bringing together priorities from our associate and parliamentary members, the publication puts forward nine global goals, including:
  • Get the loss and damage fund up and running as soon as possible.
  • Reach consensus on phasing out fossil fuels.
  • Triple renewable energy by 2030.
  • Double investment in energy efficiency by 2030.
  • Reduce resource use to address the climate crisis.
  • Transform land use to end deforestation and boost food security.
  • Withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • Set the gold standard for international marine protection.
  • Follow through on the Global Methane Pledge to ensure the 2030 targets are met.

Global Goals
For Climate Leadership at COP28

Peter Coombes
Head of Communications and Government Affairs


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