In a joint statement, the leaders of the UK’s three major political parties have declared climate change one of the most serious threats to the world and promised to phase out any coal-fired power generation that doesn’t incorporate carbon capture technologies.
“Acting on climate change is an opportunity for the UK to grow a stronger economy, more efficient and more resilient to risks ahead,” state Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
Speaking just months before national elections, the three leaders pledged to “seek a fair, strong, legally binding, global climate deal which limits temperature rises to below 2ºC,” work across party lines to set carbon budgets, “accelerate the transition to a competitive, energy-efficient, low-carbon economy, and to end the use of unabated coal for power generation,” BBC reports.
“It’s very unusual to get a moment of unity in the midst of a general election, and it is generating lots of excitement,” said Matthew Spencer of the Green Alliance, which brokered the statement. “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,” while assuring investors “that agreement remains strong across current leaders on emissions reduction.”
Greenpeace Director John Sauven said the statement “marks a turning point in the collective effort to take Britain’s energy system out of the Victorian age and into the 21st century. Party leaders now need to set a clear expiry date on coal pollution, stop subsidies to coal plants, and start investing in the clean energy infrastructure this country really needs.”