Party leaders put planet above politics with new climate agreement
David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have made it a Valentine's Day to remember by signing a cross-party pledge to tackle climate change.
The agreement includes commitments to an internationally binding deal at Paris 2015, a promise to end unabated coal power generation and a pledge to agree a Carbon Budget in accordance with the Climate Change Act.
The agreement follows the close of the first international climate summit of 2015, in Geneva, where delegates produced the first draft of a possible “Paris Agreement” which will be negotiated throughout the year, before being agreed in the French capital in December.
It follows the launch of The Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign which encourages people across the UK to wear green hearts on Valentines Day and share the thing they love most that could be lost to climate change.
VIDEO: The Climate Coalition: A Simple Love Poem
The agreement was brokered by Green Alliance supported by Christian Aid, CAFOD, Greenpeace, RSPB and WWF.
The announcement has been welcomed by business leaders, politicians and activists around the globe, with Al Gore calling it an example of “true statesmanship”.
Former US vice-president Al Gore: “The political courage it represents on all sides is exactly what our world most needs in order to solve the climate crisis. Thank you! Thank you! And thank you!”
Unilever CEO Paul Polman: The importance of this pledge cannot be overstated. In this critical year, both for the international climate change negotiations and the agreement of the sustainable development goals, this statement of cross-party recognition of the importance of climate action, as well as support for a legally binding global deal, sets a terrific example for other countries to follow.”
Former Conservative leader Lord Howard of Lympne:”I welcome this cross-leader agreement which will send a signal to our partners around the world that the UK is serious about our responsibilities as stewards of the environment.”
Public Affairs Committee of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes chair Marylyn Haines Evans: “With nearly three quarters of British women saying that tackling climate change cannot be left to future generations, the global leadership shown by the three main UK parties today is a vital step towards making a real difference for future generations, something that’s a real priority for WI members.”
Aviva CEO Mark Wilson: “As insurers and investors, we are well used to thinking about sustainability in the long term. This statement represents political leadership on a key issue at a crucial time.”
Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown: “Consensus is a rare thing in British politics, but this makes agreement even more powerful when it is reached. I applaud party leaders for setting aside their differences to lay out the common ground on climate action that exists between Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Investors should take reassurance that the UK will remain on its current path to decarbonise its economy irrespective of who wins the election.”
Siemens CEO Juergen Maier: “The low-carbon transition represents a major economic opportunity and a consistent UK policy framework was a crucial factor in Siemens’ decision to make a multi-million pound investment in wind turbine production and installation facilities in Hull. This demonstration of cross-party support sends a clear message that the UK remains a good place for global companies to do low-carbon business.”