THE UK Government has insisted the country is “well ahead” on its climate change targets as a startling new report shows the world is warming faster than previously thought.
The UN report, published today, has warned that there must be urgent action taken and states that climate change is already affecting every region of the globe.
Alok Sharma, the President of the Cop26 climate change summit, said the report must act as a “wakeup call”.
Speaking during a panel discussion in London, he said: “I have to say I think if ever there was going to be a wake-up call for the world when it comes to climate, then it is this report and it does show all too clearly the impact of human activity and, indeed, the deficiency of our response to date and why we need to act now on what the science is telling us.
“The future, of course, is not yet written and the very worst of climate change is still avoidable, and if we look back to Paris in 2015 world leaders got together and said that they would do everything they could to limit global temperature rises to well below two degrees and aiming for 1.5, and what this report shows, that 1.5 degrees is still achievable, but that it is retreating and it’s retreating fast.”
This morning, the UK Government issued calls for urgent global action in response to the report, with Boris Johnson describing it as “sober reading”.
The Prime Minister said: “ Today’s report makes for sobering reading, and it is clear that the next decade is going to be pivotal to securing the future of our planet.
“We know what must be done to limit global warming – consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the frontline.”
He insisted the country was “leading the way” on climate change by “decarbonising our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades.”
He added: “I hope today’s IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now, before we meet in Glasgow in November for the critical COP26 summit.”
His official spokesman was asked by journalists if the UK’s efforts were being undermined by the approval of the Cambo oil field off Shetland.
The spokesman replied: “That’s a decision based on an existing licence rather than granting a licence now, but it is obviously going to be part of the energy mix in the short term while we transition to transition further to renewables.”
He then said that “other countries can look at the approach we’ve taken, which is well ahead of the target set out for example on emissions. We have a reduction target of 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2030.”
He added: “I’m saying that the target we have is ahead of the curve, for example on what the IPCC sets out today, but we will be setting out further detail ahead of Cop26.
“We continue to work with all countries will have different needs and will be in different phases, and we want to work together to achieve this goal.”