HM Queen’s Speech reiterates UK commitment to global climate deal in Paris

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27 May 2015

LONDON: Today HM Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom delivered the country’s official ‘Speech of the Throne’ to mark the start of the new Parliament, in which she reaffirms the UK’s commitment to forging a global climate deal at the COP21 talks taking place in Paris this December.

The Queen’s Speech introduced the new Conservative government’s policies for the next five years of their leadership, the legislative program of which will include a new Energy Bill.

On the upcoming COP21 climate talks, the Queen remarked: “My government will seek effective global collaboration to sustain economic recovery and to combat climate change, including at the climate change conference in Paris later this year.”

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group comments: “Internationally, this is the big year for climate. The Queen's Speech was the opportunity for the Prime Minister to set out his leadership position for the Paris COP21 summit, and also the government's plan for the next five years to contribute to the major emissions reductions needed before 2020, the year the COP agreement comes into force. This would not only help ensure we keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees, but also support the UK's growing low carbon sector, which has been one of the undeniable success stories of the British economy in recent years.

“The Climate Group's ‘Climate Action Barometer’ indicates that businesses in particular are demonstrating growing confidence in investing in renewable energy, clean technology and smart infrastructure because there is clear evidence of the business benefits of doing so. However business also wants a strong signal from policymakers in order to give it the long-term certainty it needs to be able to make the step change investments needed to stop runaway climate change and create a high skill, low carbon economy.”

The barometer was released at Climate Week Paris, which is convened by The Climate Group, and measures confidence levels of businesses, sub-national governments and international institutions in global actions towards a low carbon economy. Confidence rating is currently at 33% - or ‘changeable’, according to the barometer.

Following the Queen’s Speech, UK Secretary of State Amber Rudd published a blog about the Department of Energy and Climate Change's energy priorities as well as how agreeing a global climate deal at COP21 is in the “UK’s interest” because it will “further drive down the costs of climate action” and “open up new opportunities for our low carbon industries”.

The Secretary of State writes: “It’s not just governments who want this deal, its businesses, NGOs and campaign groups both in the UK and internationally.

“The UK is already playing its part. Our own emissions are down 30% on 1990 levels, and our carbon budgets keep us on track to deliver our ambitious 2050 targets. We are leading the way in clean technology and innovation, creating new jobs and helping to power our economic recovery.”

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