I completely agree that climate change is one of the most serious long-term economic and environmental threats that this country faces. I was proud of the leadership that Britain displayed during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year, and can assure you that that not only will Britain back up the commitments we made, but the Government will continue pushing for more ambitious action to tackle this global problem.
In line with the Paris agreement, the UK will deliver on its promise to help the world’s poorest people, who are all too often the first to experience the devastating effects of climate change. The Government announced a 50 per cent increase to the International Climate Fund over the next four years to £5.8 billion. This fund helps the world’s poorest adapt to climate change and promotes cleaner, greener economic growth. The UK also works closely with private interests to invest in renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Planning for the Fifth Carbon Budget is already underway, and I hope to see an ambitious set of targets, that are balanced with keeping costs affordable for consumers. It is only fair to expect billpayers to support low carbon power as long as costs are controlled.
The Government is already committed to an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050, and has recently said that it will enshrine a goal of net zero emissions into UK law. The UK is making excellent progress; Britain will be one of the first developed countries to take coal out of the energy mix completely, renewables capacity has trebled since 2010 and the Government has sent clear signals to investors and businesses about the shift to a low-carbon economy.