- This week..
With just over 2 weeks until the UN COP17 Climate Summit in Durban, beginning on 28 November, preparation continues with Ministers and senior official hosting a number of meetings with business groups and NGOs to discuss the UK position leading into the talks.
Secretary of State for Energy Chris Huhne and Foreign Secretary William Hague hosted a Question Time event on climate change on 8 November with representatives from youth organisations.
The urgency of international action on climate change was again highlighted this week by the findings published in the IEA Energy Outlook Report which present a stark reminder for countries as they head to Durban.
Durban Climate Summit
- In this video, DECC Minister Greg Barker talks about the UK's objectives leading into the UN Climate Summit in Durban.
Greg Barker said: "The UK remains absolutely committed to a legally binding treaty that will bring the whole world onto the same page in the fight against climate change. However, we need to be realistic and we need to get away from an all-or-nothing approach to these annual COP events."
You can read more on the UK preparations for Durban on the UK in South Africa website, and more about COP17 on the Durban Summit website.
Youth Question Time: Climate Change
- 8 November
Secretary of State, Chris Huhne, and Foreign Secretary, William Hague, led a panel answering questions on climate change from an international audience of young people on 8 November. They were joined for this ‘Question Time’-style event by Ambassador Mxahato-Desiko, Climate Ambassador for South Africa (host of the forthcoming UN negotiations), and Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council
The event linked audiences of young people in the UK and South Africa, and was webcast live to an international audience. Television presenter Rick Edwards chaired the discussion, which covered a range of topics from the UK’s policies to cut its own emissions to the international negotiations, and from the role of governments and wider society to how young people across the world can engage in the climate debate.
Speaking on the event Secretary of State Chris Huhne said:
"It’s hugely important that young people’s voices on climate change are heard and I’m really pleased so many took part in the Question Time event. Making the shift to a low carbon economy in the UK will create new markets and exciting job opportunities for the next generation as well as providing a more sustainable future."
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
"Climate change is perhaps the twenty-first century’s biggest foreign policy challenge. We all have a responsibility to tackle this threat and the decisions we take now will have a profound effect on future generations.
"Young people in the UK and across the world play a critical role in the climate debate, and it is essential that their opinions are heard through events such as this. As we approach Durban, we all have an important duty to show the next generation the leadership needed to build international consensus on this vital issue."
IEA release annual energy outlook report
- 9 November
Without a bold change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system, the International Energy Agency warned as it launched the 2011 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO). The agency's flagship publication, released today in London, said there is still time to act, but the window of opportunity is closing.
Responding to the report European Union Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard said:
"One wonders how many more worrying figures the world needs. The World Energy Outlook 2011 shows that the world is heading for a fossil fuels lock-in. This is another urgent call to move to a low-carbon economy by using the right incentives: carbon price, fossil fuels subsidies cuts, more renewables and energy efficiency, and smarter ways of taxing."
A DECC Spokesperson added:
“At the upcoming climate talks in Durban, the UK hopes to build on what was agreed upon last year in Cancun and also make progress on some of the political issues that we need to address to achieve our overall goal to keep average global temperature rises below 2 degrees. This includes firming up a process towards a legally binding framework, ensuring global participation including from major economies.”
Also in the news:
- During a recent visit to Tanzania, Prince Charles spoke about the importance of valuing natural resources in efforts to tackle climate change:
"Nature’s crucial services – the greatest “utilities” of all – must be properly valued and paid for. This is surely more attractive than pitching ourselves into a battle with Nature since, as the effects of climate change become ever-more apparent, this is a battle we are very unlikely to win."
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