David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, the leaders of the UK’s main political parties, have pledged to work together to try to combat climate change, regardless of May’s general election result.
The three leaders made a joint statement saying climate change was one of the greatest threats facing our planet.
They added that climate change may not only be bad for the environment, but also countries’ prosperity, security, and international attempts to reduce global poverty.
In a rare show of pre-election unity, the three leaders signed the pledge. (Source: Green Alliance)
In a rare show of pre-election total unanimity, the three leaders promised they would end coal burning for power generation in Britain unless the country uses new clean-up technology.
The joint statement says:
“Acting on climate change is also an opportunity for the UK to grow a stronger economy, which is more efficient and more resilient to the risks ahead. It is in our national interest to act and ensure others act with us.”
The three leaders have pledged to:
Limit temperature rises: aim to limit temperature rises to below 2°C.
Work together: across party lines, to agree carbon budgets that adhere to the Climate Change Act.
Low carbon economy: speed up the transition to a competitive, energy-efficient low-carbon economy.
Tories distance themselves from UKIP
Mr. Cameron’s pledge may ease environmentalists’ concerns that the Tories might follow UKIP in challenging the climate change forecasts.
Some European partners, who have been worried the UK may soften the EU’s leadership position when more than 190 nations meet in Paris in December to agree on a global climate change treaty, will also be encouraged by the news.
For once, Ed Miliband (left), David Cameron (middle) and Nick Clegg all agreed on something.
Several Conservative lawmakers and right-leaning newspapers in the UK have expressed climate skepticism.
The tri-party pledge will encourage investors, who have so far been reluctant to invest money into renewable energy systems.
In an interview with the BBC, Matthew Spencer of the think tank Green Alliance, who brokered the promise, said:
“The purpose is to create space for the current and future PM to ensure that the UK can play a full role in securing a good outcome in Paris.(It will) reassure investors that agreement remains strong across current leaders on emissions reduction, and that we’re unlikely to see a major change in direction whichever party forms the next government.”
“It’s very unusual to get a moment of unity in the midst of a general election, and it is generating lots of excitement. A non-partisan approach is the Holy Grail in the US. It is in our national interest to act and to ensure that others act with us.”
Former US vice-president Al Gore said:
“This agreement represents inspiring leadership and true statesmanship by all three men. The political courage it represents on all sides is exactly what our world most needs in order to solve the climate crisis. Thank you! Thank you! And thank you!”
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said:
“The importance of this pledge cannot be overstated. In this critical year, both for the international climate change negotiations and the agreement of the sustainable development goals, this statement of cross-party recognition of the importance of climate action, as well as support for a legally binding global deal, sets a terrific example for other countries to follow.”
Video – The three leaders sign the Climate Change pledge