The prime minister will chair a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to bring together ministers who are responsible for domestic and international climate change policy.
This is the first government committee of its kind, it will provide a forum to hold departments to account for their actions to combat climate change and will also oversee the UK’s preparations to host the UN’s major climate summit COP26 in Glasgow in November 2020.
The prime minister said: ‘I want us to become the cleanest, greenest society on earth, and inspire countries around the world to follow our lead so that our children can breathe clean air and benefit from the wonderful flora and fauna of this earth.’
‘We know that people across the UK are passionate about protecting our planet, and we need to continue building on the excellent progress this government has made in tackling climate change and improving our environment.’
The government has also recently introduced an Environment Bill to Parliament to improve environmental protections as we leave the EU.
According to the government, the legislation will create legally binding environmental improvement targets to ensure that: ‘The environment is at the heart of all government policymaking.’
The government have plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
However, Friends of the Earth executive, Craig Bennet has criticised this announcement saying: ‘With the planet facing an emergency, we need urgent action, not just warm words.’
‘The Prime Minister’s pledge to make the UK a global leader in the climate crisis will only be realised if slashing climate-wrecking emissions is at the very heart of every government policy.’
‘This means scrapping plans for a third runway at Heathrow, halting the multi-billion pound road-building program and abandoning support for fossil fuel development at home and abroad.’
In related news, UK government support for fossil fuel energy projects has increased eleven times over the past twelve months, a UK Export Finance (UKEF) annual report has revealed.
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