Britain ratifies Paris climate pact

Marrakech, Nov 17 (IANS) Britain has ratified the historic Paris Agreement that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by shifting away from fossil fuels to limit global warming, its Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd said here on Thursday.

With this, Britain becomes the 111th country to ratify the Paris Agreement that came into force on November 4 when more than 55 countries as well as countries representing more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratified the deal.

“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,” Hurd told reporters here.

“COP22 in Marrakesh is an important milestone which marks the shift from aspiration to implementation. We are going to use this positive momentum to grow the UK low-carbon sector, which is already worth over 46 billion pounds, as we continue to provide secure, affordable and clean energy to our families and businesses,” he said.

Hurd, here to attend the ongoing 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with over 25,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, told this IANS correspondent on the sidelines of the summit that the Britain’s ratification has sent a powerful message to the global community that “we are ready to fight climate change”.

During a meeting on climate finance, Hurd said: “We have to be clear that this $100bn is a stump – it’s clearly not enough we need to mobilise significantly more money than that. We have to turn the billions into trillions.”

Hailing Britain’s decision to ratify the Paris Agreement, British charity Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead Mohamed Adow told IANS the country that dominated the first industrial revolution is now positioning itself to capitalise on the second.

“During a week in which the international climate negotiations have experienced the shock of the US elections, this backing by America’s oldest and strongest ally shows that support for global action to tackle climate change remains resolute,” he said.

Adow said ratifying the Paris Agreement is also a recognition by the first country to industrialise that it has a duty to help and protect the very poorest and most vulnerable people in the world suffering the effects of climate change.

“We expect the UK to know back up this ratification with concrete actions that will rapidly cut its emissions in all sectors,” he added.

(Vishal Gulati is in Marrakech at the invitation of the Global Editors Network to cover COP 22. He can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

–IANS

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