Westminster Diary

2nd June 2020

This year, the world has been struck by the greatest health crisis of our lifetimes.

As we recover from the pandemic, the UK, like every country, will face a choice. Between laying the foundations for sound, sustainable and inclusive growth or locking-in polluting emissions for decades to come.

Today, we have a huge opportunity to not just rebuild what went before, but to build back better. We will do this through a clean, resilient recovery which delivers for both people and planet.

In the UK, we are building on strong foundations. Hundreds of thousands of people across our country are already employed in the low carbon economy and its supply chains, from electric cars made in the Midlands and North East, to wind turbine blades made on the Humber.

We have now gone well over a month without any of the UK’s electricity coming from coal power plants. This is the first time this has happened since the Industrial Revolution.

And many low carbon initiatives, such as upgrading our buildings and planting trees, will create jobs and business opportunities right across the country.

In March, I was appointed President of COP26, a global summit on climate change, now scheduled to take place in November 2021, having been postponed from taking place this year due to coronavirus. The event will be the largest summit the UK has ever hosted, with over 30,000 delegates expected to attend.

The Conference will be a moment where the world unites behind a clean, resilient recovery which delivers for people and planet. In the months leading up to the event we will continue to maintain momentum on climate action and have defined five key areas where, working with our global partners, we can make progress faster.   

On clean energy, we need to encourage countries to move away from the polluting options of the past and embrace the low-cost, zero-emission technologies of the future.

On clean transport, we must work together to bring forward the date when zero-emissions vehicles will not only be cleaner, but also cheaper to buy, than petrol and diesel.

On nature, we will work to safeguard ecosystems, protect natural habitats and keep carbon out of the atmosphere.

On adaptation and resilience, we need to help communities and countries adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

And finally, on finance, we will continue to work with institutions across the world to unleash the funding which will pay for the shift to a zero-carbon economy.

As we start to rebuild our economy, we owe it to future generations to build back better.

By joining forces with countries, companies and communities from across the world, I know we can make progress faster.

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