DECEMBER 2021: News from our local MP Chris Skidmore
We will help world achieve climate goals
IT was an enormous honour to be able to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP 26, in Glasgow over recent weeks – it turned out to be a hugely successful and momentous event.
Not only did the summit succeed in keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but it also united the world in calling time on coal – the burning of which is the single biggest cause of carbon emissions. This is something that no UN climate conference has ever done before and – whilst a fantastic achievement on its own – isn’t the only COP triumph to report back.
The companies that build a quarter of the world’s cars have agreed to stop building carbon emission vehicles by 2035 – and it is our very own Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems under construction at the Science Park that will provide the global expertise to make this ambitious goal a reality.
And 130 countries came together to protect up to 90 per cent of the world’s forests that do so much to absorb carbon and allow wildlife to flourish. Again, locally, we see our own efforts to complement this global action, whether that’s doubling tree canopy cover across South Gloucestershire or pioneering a “WildBelt” network of green spaces, commons, nature reserves stretching from Lyde Green to Willsbridge that will help halt urban sprawl.
As the UK’s local and national examples show, the task of our negotiators was made easier by the fact that the UK wasn’t asking anyone to do anything we’re not doing ourselves.
We’ve slashed our use of coal so much that in 2024 our last two coal-fired power stations will go offline forever. We’ve more than doubled our climate finance, providing vital support for developing countries around the world. We’ve made a legally binding commitment to reach net zero, the first of the major economies to do so – and something I was proud to sign into law as a minister. And we’ve set a date by which hydrocarbon internal combustion engines will be banned, whilst continuing the roll-out of electric vehicle charging stations across our area.
Finally we’ve shown the world that it’s possible to grow your economy while cutting carbon – creating markets for clean technology and delivering new green jobs that reduce emissions and increase prosperity.