Prime Minister launches UN Climate Summit COP26 today

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THE PRIME Minister is joined by Sir David Attenborough and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as he launches the next UN climate conference COP26 today.

At the event, Boris Johnson will set out the UK’s position as a world leader in the response to climate change, having made a legal commitment to achieve net zero emissions, and call all nations to strive towards this goal.

Mr Johnson and Prime Minister Conte will lead the discussion on the fight against climate change as part of the larger global alliance which makes up COP26.

The Prime Minister commented on the event: “Hosting COP26 is an important opportunity for the UK and nations across the globe to step up in the fight against climate change.

“As we set out our plans to hit our ambitious 2050 net zero target across this year, so we shall urge others to join us in pledging net zero emissions.

“There can be no greater responsibility than protecting our planet, and no mission that a Global Britain is prouder to serve.

“2020 must be the year we turn the tide on global warming– it will be the year when we choose a cleaner, greener future for all.”

The Prime Minister will use the speech to call for international efforts to reach net zero as early as possible through investment in cleaner, greener technology, preservation of our natural habitat and measures to improve resilience to climate change impact.

At the event, he will reinforce his ‘commitment to tackling climate change and biodiversity loss simultaneously, recognising the important role of the restoration of nature in his vision.’

The Government plans to bring forward an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition is feasible, subject to consultation, as well as including hybrids for the first time.

The Government will continue to work with all sectors of industry to accelerate the rollout of zero emission vehicles – helping to deliver new green jobs in the UK.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “This government’s £1.5bn strategy to make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible is working – last year alone, a fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes.

“We want to go further than ever before.

“That’s why we are bringing forward our already ambitious target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to tackle climate change and reduce emissions.”

Later this month, Italy will host the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Rome ahead of this year’s critical biodiversity summit, COP15, when countries from around the world are due to agree on a new global framework to protect plants and wildlife.

Today’s launch will also kick off a Year of Climate Action, with events to take place in all four nations of the UK and businesses and charities encouraged to participate in the run-up to the summit in Glasgow in November.

Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The UK has a proud record in tackling climate change and making the most of the enormous economic potential of clean technologies.

“This is my number one priority, and we will raise our ambition in this year of climate action, including with new plans to decarbonise every sector, enabling a greener future for all our children.”