The election in the US of the only world leader to deny climate science is not deterring the United Kingdom from moving ahead with climate action. While President-elect Donald Trump promises to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, the UK just became the 111th country to ratify the landmark accord aimed at preventing dangerous global warming by keeping global average temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson signed the pact in London on Thursday after a 21-day parliamentary review period passed with no objections raised by the House of Commons or Lords.
“The UK is ratifying the historic Paris agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all,” Nick Hurd, UK climate change minister, said at the UN climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco. “I hope this will send a very strong message of continued international commitment to implement Paris because it is obviously very important to send that signal out.”
The UK has set an ambitious climate target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 57 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. However, Barry Gardiner, shadow minister for international climate change, said the country faces a 47 percent shortfall to meet its 2030 decarbonization goal.
With the US likely to lose its leadership role on climate change because of Trump’s anti-science stance and pro-fossil fuel policies, the UK could play an important part in making sure that the rest of the international community, including China and India, keeps the commitments in line with the Paris climate agreement to decarbonize their economies so catastrophic climate change is averted.
Images via Wikimedia