Significant progress has been made in the fight against global warming as Boris Johnson agrees an end to investment in oil and gas projects overseas, as well as coal, with ‘very limited exceptions’. The decision means that taxpayer-funded support for projects involving fossil fuels will be withdrawn to set an example in the lead up to COP26, which is being hosted by the UK in November next year.
There have been endless concerns raised by campaigners over the last few years in relation to the UK’s involvement in such projects, which if continued would seem at odds with the Prime Minister’s vocalised commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Since the Paris Agreement of 2015, the government agency, UK Export Finance, have reportedly spent billions of public funding to support fossil fuel focused projects. According to a Parliament report, this support massively outweighs the funding awarded to low/middle class countries for projects focused on renewables.
In November, Boris released a 10-point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’ by 2050, and is expected to create 250,000 jobs. The 10 points (summarised) are as follows:
- Producing enough offshore wind to power every home.
- Generating low carbon hydrogen for industry, transport and power, with £500 million of additional funding.
- Transforming nuclear energy into clean energy with £525 million of new funding.
- Backing car manufacturers to accelerate a transition to electric vehicles. No new petrol and diesel cars will be sold by 2030.
- Making cycling and walking more attractive and investing in zero-emission public transport.
- Supporting projects for greener planes and ships.
- Making homes, schools and hospitals greener and more energy efficient.
- Becoming a world-leader in carbon capture technology, with £200 million of new funding to develop carbon capture ‘clusters’ between 2020-2030.
- Protecting and restoring nature, planting 30,000 hectares of trees per year.
- Developing cutting-edge technology to reach these new targets.
During his pledge in front of United Nations member countries on 12th December, Boris Johnson said: “…my message to you all, is that together we can use scientific advances to protect our entire planet, our biosphere against a challenge far worse, far more destructive even than coronavirus… Today, we’re putting our foot to the accelerator…” The UK is the first country in the G-20 to take these measures.
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