On the 13th February 2015, the leaders of the United Kingdom’s three main political parties – the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives – have agreed to work together to address climate change, according to Green Alliance, the organization that brokered the agreement. The three party leaders have jointly committed to (1) seek a fair, strong, legally binding, global climate deal that limits temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, (2) to work together across party lines to agree carbon budgets in accordance with the 2008 Climate Change Act and (3) to accelerate the transition to a competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy and to end the use of unabated coal for power generation.
This agreement is considered to be a major stepping-stone on climate change action in the UK. This is partly due to the fact that it has been announced in the lead up to the next general election in the country in which the various parties are heavily disputing a range of issues. Furthermore, it gives the country a more united stance on climate change than is seen in a number of other key states that will convene at the international climate talks in Paris in December 2015.
International climate talks notwithstanding, this joint agreement is sending the signal to investors that low carbon energy will be supported in the United Kingdom irrespective of which political party is in power. It is hoped that this sustained signal will trigger development and deployment of low carbon technologies.
(Image: the House of Commons sits for the first time in the new Parliament, following the Queens’ Speech and State Opening of Parliament, 25 May 2010. Image: Catherine Bebbington. Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament. UK Parliament/Flickr)