Ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a draft of new measures aimed at limiting the effects and causes of climate change both domestically and worldwide.
The One Planet Summit is an event aimed at restating and reinforcing the commitments made as part of the Paris Climate Accord on its second anniversary. Organised by French PM Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the summit is described as “an alliance of hundreds of global leaders from all sectors, determined to demonstrate the power of collective action in addressing such a global issue as the fight against climate change”.
Theresa May’s attendance coincides with her pledging increased support for various initiatives aimed at promoting a more cohesive approach towards mitigating global climate change.
Among these initiatives is the promise of £140 million worth of funding “to help the world’s poorest communities address the effects of climate change”. This includes increasing the DFID’s Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) program’s budget by £30 million; offering £15 million towards the reconstruction of the Caribbean island of Dominica; and adding £87 million to the budget of another DFID program aimed at helping communities affected by illegal logging and deforestation.
May said: “Tackling climate change and mitigating its effects for the world’s poorest are among the most critical challenges that we face. That is why I am joining other world leaders in Paris today for the One Planet Summit and committing to stand firmly with those on the front line of extreme weather and rising sea levels.”
The measures announced were not just financial, however, and also included May doubling down on the government’s commitment to “phase out unabated coal-fired power generation by 2025”. This effort, already led by the UK and Canada, is being expanded internationally and now almost 30 countries and regions have signed up to the anti-coal alliance. More countries, as well as several major businesses included Unilever and EDF, are set to sign up at the One Planet Summit.
Simultaneous to the phasing out of coal power will be the promotion of development of cleaner forms of energy generation, and also of the use of electric vehicles. In 2018, the UK will host a global “Zero Emission Vehicle Summit”, which is intended to “further the development of the low emission and electric car market”.
“…by redoubling our efforts to phase out coal, as well as build on our world leading electric car production,” May said, “we are showing we can cut emissions in a way that supports economic growth.”