Climate change is one of the most serious threats that this country and the world faces.
The UK is taking a leading role on the world stage, working towards a binding global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change to manageable levels. British Ministers led the push to achieve agreement within Europe on a historic deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. EU countries agreed a new 2030 energy and climate policy framework that includes a domestic emissions reduction target of at least 40 per cent.
This represents a big victory for the UK and is a vital step towards achieving an international climate agreement at the key Paris conference later this year, where all the world's leaders will gather.
The Government also set up the International Climate Fund to provide £3.87 billion between 2011 and 2015 to help the world's poorest adapt to climate change and promote cleaner, greener economic growth. Through it, the UK works in partnership with developing countries to:
- reduce carbon emissions through promoting low carbon development;
- help poor people adapt to the effects of climate change;
- reduce deforestation.
In addition, the UK supports efforts to integrate climate change policies into international development plans.
Europe's first Green Investment Bank has been established in Britain to lever billions of pounds of investment in green projects and technologies, and the Energy Act will give investors the certainty they need to stimulate decades of investment. The Act is opening up the electricity market to incentivise a record £110 billion of private sector investment in new clean power generation, putting Britain firmly on track to meet the 2050 target to reduce emissions by 80 per cent.
This new financial framework is the clearest and most stable in Europe. In the global race for investment, the UK is set to be the most attractive EU destination for investors in clean energy. Already, electricity generation from renewable sources has doubled since 2010. Ministers are determined to ensure we become a world leader in the new green economy.