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COP26 must ignite a ‘reinvigorated’ effort on climate change, says the CCC

COP26 must launch a ‘reinvigorated UK effort on climate change,’ says the Climate Change Committee (CCC) in their new independent assessment of COP26. 

COP26 concluded with an increase in ambitions to reduce emissions across the world and there is now a path to expected global warming of under 2°C.

But, according to the assessment, only concrete steps by 2030 will close the growing gap between ambition for 1.5°C and real-world delivery.

The CCC has made a series of new recommendations for the UK government, these include: 

  • UK efforts should focus on strengthening the delivery of the Net Zero Strategy
  • The Glasgow Climate Pact makes reference to the ‘phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.’ The CCC says the UK has a duty to act on this in common with other countries. 
  • The CCC recommends that the Treasury initiates a review of the role of the tax system in delivering Net Zero
  • The UK’s commitment to the Glasgow Climate Pact can be further demonstrated with stronger actions to tackle the UK’s wider carbon footprint. These could include stronger product standards applied equally at home and to imported goods.

gray and white building near body of water during daytime

Internationally, the UK continues to hold the COP Presidency for the next year, until COP27 in Egypt. 

The CCC has highlighted that the UK has an important role to play in putting the completed Paris rules into action, including consideration of whether the new rules on international carbon trading might offer a new route for countries, including the UK, to support accelerated global ambition.

Chairman of the CCC, Lord Deben, said: ‘The UK must not walk away after COP26. Glasgow was a step forward in global efforts to address climate change, including a genuine increase in ambition to reduce emissions worldwide.

‘We also saw important technical advances, with new rules agreed for reporting emissions and on international carbon trading, and multiple initiatives and sector deals. This is real and welcome progress, but success depends on what happens now.

‘The next year is critical for climate action in the UK and internationally. At home, we need to walk the talk and urgently deliver actions in the Net Zero Strategy.

‘Globally, the UK must continue to encourage stronger action on climate and insist on rapid emissions reductions and stronger adaptation through all diplomatic channels. The ultimate success of the Glasgow Climate Pact will be measured by climate risks averted, not words on a page.’

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