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How will the UK fare at the upcoming UN Paris climate conference? - 27 November


In 2014, David Cameron stated “climate change is a threat to our national security, to global security, to poverty eradication and to economic prosperity”. With recent changes to the UK energy policy, it must be asked whether the UN will trust his commitment to halting global warming.

In the 2015 Conservative party manifesto, £1bn was pledged towards CCS (Carbon Capture Storage); however recent cuts have broken this promise. As climate negotiations are built on voluntary pledges, and trusting that nations will honour their emission targets, the UK is in a poor position to ensure that the Paris summit succeeds.

Since the Government advocated a focus towards gas and nuclear energy production, the reduction of CCS funding will give Cameron two options: to miss their carbon targets, or to prematurely shut down power plants before they have paid for themselves. Furthermore, energy efficiency is the cheapest way to cut carbon, help poorer households save money and to help save lives in the winter however the Government has questionably cut funding by 83%, and has abandoned the requirement for new homes to be zero-carbon.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB), owned by the government, is often used as evidence of the UK’s green credentials as a result of its green infrastructure projects; however it is now being sold off despite its £2.3bn green infrastructure investment now valued at £10.1bn. In addition, a carbon tax is being imposed on renewable energy, and tax breaks for clean cars have also been removed.

Cameron will be touting offshore wind and nuclear power (including small modular reactors) as solutions to the carbon deficit, in spite of onshore wind being far cheaper and opposed only by the minority. The overarching question remains: how will the UK fare at the upcoming UN Paris climate conference?

Find out more here.

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