I have joined over 50 cross-party MPs and peers in writing to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak demanding he use his influence at the COP28 summit to urge the phase-out of coal, oil and gas.
As well as the demand to phase out fossil fuels, the letter from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Climate Change also asks the Prime Minister to:
- Appoint a Secretary of State-level UK Climate Envoy ahead of COP28. Earlier this year the government scrapped the role of Special Representative on Climate Change within the Foreign Office. Historically, this role has been critical to demonstrating the government’s political focus on climate, accessing key global players, and working to further the UK’s international climate goals.
- Support climate vulnerable countries by committing new and additional grant-based finance to the Loss and Damage Fund. At COP27, the UK helped to establish, and became a member of, the transitional committee, which aims to determine the structure and financial commitments for a Loss and Damage Fund. We recommend that the UK government uses its position to support the prompt operationalisation of a Loss and Damage Fund at COP28, and ensure that this is sufficiently resourced to address all Loss and Damage needs, and that it is based on principles of equity, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC.
- Champion a just global energy transition by engaging with affected workers and supporting other countries in fairly moving away from fossil fuels. As we rewire our energy system, we must ensure the benefits and costs of the transition are distributed in a way that reduces inequality nationally and internationally. This is a task the UK is uniquely positioned to lead. While the North Sea Transition Deal was an important first step at home, there remains much for the UK to do to support workers and communities connected to the declining oil and gas industry, including by facilitating the transition into jobs in the renewable energy sector.
- Stand up for nature by advocating for an accountability framework for the Glasgow Leaders’ pledge and supporting the implementation of the new Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at COP15, the UN biodiversity conference, in Montreal last year. There is no pathway to a zero-carbon society without nature, no better ally to fight climate change than forests, peatlands, and other ecosystems. Finance and policy should be directed accordingly. The UK must continue to strengthen the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration to ensure that momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 continues to be built, and that the promise to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 alongside supporting Indigenous Peoples is fulfilled.
Consistently prioritising climate action is a job for all governments today, not tomorrow. I look forward to seeing the Prime Minister’s response to the recommendations set out and hope that the UK is striving to ensure that COP28 is the moment current and future generations need it to be.
Read more about the APPG’s letter to Rishi Sunak here.