Climate action call as UK puts itself at forefront of drive for change

The UK’s climate minister has said global net zero targets have to be delivered and the need for action was now urgent.

Graham Stuart (pic) was speaking at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh and said unilateral action was simply not enough and collective action and responsibility is vital.

“Nearly a year ago at COP26 the then Prince of Wales, now our new King Charles III, implored the world to act – and act fast,” he said. “Today, over 90% of global GDP is covered by some form of net zero target, up from just 30% when we first took on the COP Presidency.

“But targets are all well and good. The big question is how we deliver on them.”

Stuart added: “But we know that unilateral action is not enough. To meet our goals, we must harness the full power of collective action.

“That’s why, at COP26, 45 world leaders launched the Breakthrough Agenda. A commitment to strengthen international collaboration, so that clean technologies become the most affordable and attractive option in all regions by 2030.”

Stuart  added there were four key areas for action.

“Firstly, standards,” he explained. “Shared international standards, such as emission standards for clean hydrogen or steel or sustainability standards for battery supply chains, are vital for unlocking trade and investment.

“Secondly, market creation. Governments need to send clear policy signals and companies need to commit to procuring clean technologies to give suppliers the confidence to invest and scale production. We look forward to continuing this important work through the Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative and First Movers Coalition.

“Thirdly, research, development and demonstration. We must coordinate our efforts to deliver transformational projects that showcase innovations, such as the 5 flagship projects under the Green Powered Future Mission.

“To signal our intent, I am pleased to announce a UK contribution of at least £1.5 billion to the US-led global Clean Energy Technologies Demonstration Challenge.”

He continued: “Lastly, we must strengthen our collective offer of assistance to the Global South. By aligning, coordinating and reinforcing our assistance efforts, we can ensure clean technologies are affordable and accessible for all.”

Stuart said the UK was keen to invite every country who took part in the forum to respond to the recommendations in the Breakthrough Report by COP27.

“By doing so we can use the weight of collective action to accelerate a just and global transition for the benefit of everyone, driving jobs, growth and opportunity,” he concluded.