Boris Johnson urged to take world lead on climate action

(The Guardian, 18 Dec 2019) PM told UK has ‘fallen short’ on its commitments to tackle greenhouse gases.

Boris Johnson has been urged to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher by taking to the world stage to lead international action on the climate emergency – but to put the UK’s own emissions-cutting efforts back on track first.

The prime minister was told on Wednesday that the UK had so far “fallen short” on its commitments to tackle greenhouse gases, in a letter from the committee on climate change (CCC).

To succeed, Johnson must bring forward new policies across the board as a matter of urgency, “demanding ambitious policy from all departments to ensure homes, businesses, industry, transport and land are helping to deliver net zero”, according to a letter to Downing Street from the government’s statutory advisers on how to achieve the UK’s long-term goal of reaching net-zero carbon by 2050.

The UK is to host crunch UN talks on the climate emergency in Glasgow next November, at which nations will be asked to update their commitments on emissions under the Paris agreement.

Lord Deben, the chair of the committee and a former Conservative environment minister under Thatcher, wrote: “We marked recently the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s 1989 speech to the UN general assembly. That speech described accurately the science of human-induced climate change and the scale of its economic impact. The prime minister advocated a strong global response then; but what followed was too little. You have the opportunity to lead a better international effort. But first, we must get our own house in order.”

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The Guardian, 18 Dec 2019: Boris Johnson urged to take world lead on climate action