UK delivers much needed climate boost; Paris text ratified


After weeks of news hijacked by Trump’s US election and Brexit fallout, a welcome change of emphasis has seen the UK ratify the crucial Paris text on global warming.

‘Parliament raised no objections to the Paris deal; after the government signed the deal on Thursday, it is now just awaiting deposition at the UN,’ writes the BBC.

Climate Minister Nick Hurd said: “The UK is ratifying the 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.

“We are going to use this positive momentum to grow the UK low carbon sector, which is already worth over £46bn, as we continue to provide secure, affordable and clean energy to our families and businesses.”

Following ratification; what next for the UK low carbon transition?

Every UK observer with an interest in low carbon will be delighted the Government has acted fast on Paris. But, the UK still awaits genuine progress on new regulations and support to grow the low carbon sector yet further. An end to subsidies for fossil energy is now required; these are totally contradictory given the recent signature on the Paris accord.

Solidarity in the face of a changing US position on warming is needed. Now, more than ever given Trump’s rhetoric in the US, the urge for leadership is pressing. His vitriol seeks to take advantage of poverty and frustration by calling warming a hoax.

This will misfire, but unless the world works together on warming, such policies could bring changes like further flooding in Florida; a telling irony given this was a key state in the election battleground.

Therefore, the challenge today is to look beyond short term politics, and take stock of truly pressing issues. Low carbon, energy efficient solutions to carbon challenges are here, now. Let us campaign, hard, to bring about the right future.

Can Trump be trumped?

Understandably, plenty of global political energy is currently being spent on anticipating Trump’s moves, on both Paris and wider policy. Underlying the recent COP22 meeting were precisely these concerns.

But Content Coms urges the global community to continue to set the right example, and allow US politics to play out internally.

John Kerry told COP22, “I can’t stand here and speculate about what policies our President-elect will pursue.

“In the time I’ve spent in public life, one of the things I’ve learned is that some issues look a bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail.”

Trump’s election strategy drew largely on externalising US problems, laying the blame at the hands of other countries, immigrants and climate change.

But, as Kerry hints, this is not a strategy that actually works in office. Immigrants add valuable labour energy to America, just as transitioning the US off coal creates jobs for the future and offers up a new, vibrant US economy.

Such realities can’t be altered by campaign rhetoric. Their truth is enduring and incontestable.

Therefore, we need only set the finest of examples, both in the UK, China and the EU, and watch as America tows the line. If America’s air grows more polluted, and thus its healthcare system struggles yet further under Trump’s pro-fossil stance, this will only act to serve up more evidence that climate change is inescapable.

And that will hasten a return to truly climate positive politics across the pond.