This coming Sunday sees the start of COP26 in Glasgow, which will be the largest summit ever to be hosted in the UK. Delegates will attend from over 200 countries and all are expected to be represented at a senior level, with all world leaders invited. There are four main aims that are being sought to achieve. These are securing global net zero CO2 emissions by mid-century to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, to protect communities and natural habitats, to mobilising the finance needed to achieve this, and to work together with international partners to finalise the Paris Rulebook.
Our Conservative government is leading the world in tackling climate change and the COP26 summit will be an opportunity to showcase our country’s approach to the rest of the world. We were the first major economy to set a legally binding target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and have now delivered a landmark Net Zero Strategy to deliver on this pledge, as well as having enshrined into law a new target to reduce our emissions by 78% by 2035 when compared to 1990 levels.
I know people can get concerned about the potential risks to our economy when reducing carbon emissions, but we do have a good track record already. The UK reduced emissions by 44% between 1990 and 2019, while growing our economy by 78%, which was the fastest rate in the G7. It’s vital that the move to net zero has economic benefits for communities and that enough time is given to make that transition in an economically sustainable way, as we start to live in an environmentally sustainable way.
In leading the way, the UK will quadruple offshore wind production, will end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and plant 30,000 hectares of new trees every year. All other nations, especially the larger ones, need to play their full part. This really does matter. The evidence continues to back up the science and the future consequences of not enough action, will be much greater than the consequences of action now.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
27th October 2021