Rishi Sunak warns China it must step up efforts to tackle climate change as he flies to the Cop28 summit
- The Prime Minister said it is ‘vitally important’ China addresses global warming
Rishi Sunak has warned China that it must step up its efforts to tackle climate change as he prepared to fly to Dubai last night for Cop28.
In pointed comments, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said other countries need to do their bit to address global warming – and singled out China as ‘vitally important’. He said ‘significant action’ must be taken to ‘keep 1.5 alive’ – the goal of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C.
Asked what Mr Sunak hopes to achieve at the climate summit, the spokesman said: ‘He is clear-eyed about the challenges on a global scale that we still face on climate change. There is some significant action that must take place to keep 1.5 alive.
‘He understands the challenges all countries – and that includes China, which is obviously vitally important – have to take action. We need to see not just commitments but real-world demonstration and action, as we have done, to make sure that this progress continues.’
Asked if the PM was frustrated China is not doing enough, the spokesman said: ‘It’s simply a matter of fact that China, given its size and economy, is a crucial part of this.’
Rishi Sunak has warned China that it must step up its efforts to tackle climate change as he prepared to fly to Dubai last night for Cop28
China, together with India, watered down the Cop26 climate pact in 2021 when Britain hosted the summit in Glasgow (Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping)
Cop28 is the first time that countries will assess progress towards this goal in what is being called the ‘global stocktake’
China, together with India, watered down the Cop26 climate pact in 2021 when Britain hosted the summit in Glasgow.
Ahead of the latest talks in the United Arab Emirates, Mr Sunak said he was ‘proud’ of the UK’s record on tackling climate change. He said he was ‘not in hock to ideological zealots’ as he vowed to meet net zero targets in a ‘sensible’ way that does not burden ordinary people with costs.
Mr Sunak, criticised for backing North Sea oil and gas drilling, added: ‘We’ve reduced carbon emissions faster than any other major economy. Our targets for the next few years are also more ambitious than any other major economy… because of that, I thought the right thing to do was to ensure we get to net zero in a pragmatic and proportionate way that saves working families thousands of pounds.’
Mr Sunak will join world leaders at the UN’s Conference of the Parties to try to accelerate climate action in the UAE, one of the world’s chief oil exporters. In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries vowed to limit the average global temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels and make every effort to stop it rising above 1.5C.
Cop28 is the first time that countries will assess progress towards this goal in what is being called the ‘global stocktake’.
Mr Sunak’s spokesman said it would be the moment where the world ‘takes a long hard look in the mirror to see if we are delivering on the 2015 Paris Agreement’.
Sixteen Just Stop Oil protesters were arrested yesterday after a demonstration outside the PM’s west London home calling for a halt on fossil fuel exploration.
The group said 18 supporters gathered outside Mr Sunak’s Kensington property carrying placards stating: ‘Arrest the Real Criminals.’
The Metropolitan Police said those arrested remained in custody last night. No10 declined to comment.
Greenpeace activists scaled Mr Sunak’s North Yorkshire home in August in protest against North Sea oil drilling.
Sixteen Just Stop Oil protesters were arrested yesterday after a demonstration outside the PM’s west London home calling for a halt on fossil fuel exploration
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