Backing renewed action on climate change

Greg with local climate activistsGreg in Fulham with local members of Climate Change activism charity Hope for the Future - http://www.hftf.org.uk/

 

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I welcome the measures that the Government has so far taken to tackle climate change, which has resulted in significant reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions. It is also good news that all coal-fired power stations will be closed by 2025, and that we are continuing to invest in rapid expansion of our renewable energy capacity.

I was the Government’s Trade and Investment Minister from 2016 until I resigned over the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport last year. During my tenure as Trade Minister, I focused heavily in improving UK exports of our capability in offshore wind, through marketing UK offshore wind technology abroad. In turn, I also played a key role in increasing the UK supply chain for offshore wind. This was achieved through bringing in foreign investors to rapidly develop the UK’s offshore wind capability and capacity. I am delighted that the UK is now the world leader in offshore wind, with more installed offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world. Wind power generation has transformed from providing 2% of UK electricity generation in 2010, to 12% in 2016, up to 18% in 2018. Over the next 5 years, UK wind capacity is projected to increase by a further 50%. 

That said, I am not complacent about UK efforts to meet our climate commitments. I look forward to seeing the outcome of discussions at the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) in Chile next month, including consideration of the IPCC Special Report published last year. The UK will host COP 26 in Glasgow in 2020.

I have written to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, regarding the UK’s commitment to its fourth and fifth carbon budgets. The UK has so far met its first and second carbon budget commitments, and is on course to meet its third carbon budget commitment, which runs to 2022. However, I am concerned by reports that we are not currently on course to meet our fourth and fifth carbon budgets from 2023 to 2032. Please find below my letter to the Minister on this matter.

 

Greg Hands

Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham

 

Greg Hands Climate Change