XR Climate Change Campaign

Thank you for contacting me about climate change.

I understand that this campaign has been developed by members of Extinction Rebellion, Big Ask and Power for the People.

Climate change is a key priority and I am proud that the UK was the first G7 country to legislate to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While I can understand that you want this target to be achieved sooner, and I share this desire, getting to net zero by 2050 is feasible and consistent with avoiding most damaging climate change. Aiming for zero emissions by 2030 is almost certainly impossible, hugely disruptive and risks undermining consensus. Climate change is an emotive issue, but a cross-community consensus will be required to ensure the UK achieves a transition that works for all.

I note that the campaign seeks to examine the UK’s global carbon footprint, such as indirect UK emissions in our supply chain which may affect developing countries. I am encouraged that the UK remains committed to environmentally sustainable development as set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. In September 2019 the Prime Minister committed to doubling the UK’s International Climate Finance over the next five years which I hope will enable the UK to play an active part in protecting the environment and reversing biodiversity loss.

A citizens’ assembly has already been formed on climate change. Parliament sent out 30,000 invitations in 2019 to form a Climate Assembly which was commissioned by six cross-party House of Commons Select Committees. The Assembly looked at how the UK will reach its net zero emissions climate target, and what can be done by members of the public to help reduce carbon emissions.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.