Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North

Today's COP21 Paris climate agreement

Barry, who was in Paris for the climate talks, has been giving reaction today to the agreement, on the BBC, Sky, LBC and ITV national news...

Here’s his reaction from earlier:

Today is a cause for real celebration. It’s been such a long road, but the Paris COP21 Climate agreement offers a real breakthrough – 195 countries have agreed on its objectives. We’ve never been here before, and we should remember all those who’ve helped the world reach this moment.

It’s fantastic that the ratcheting process has been agreed – that’s crucial and it’s something many of us have strongly called for. That’s a process of five-yearly reviews where we can increase efforts in line with the science and advancing tech, to ensure we’re on track to achieving a temperature rise of well below 2 degrees – and to be ambitious of a 1.5C limit.

This now needs to spur our own government to reappraise the policies it’s been pressing on with through the talks - which would drag us backwards on renewable energies when we need urgently to secure a low carbon future. This is an Industrial Revolution that’s taking place across the globe, where fossil fuels that have powered us for centuries will move to the backburner, and renewables will take us forward. All governments must now take that on board.

We’ve just seen the most devastating floods in Cumbria and Lancashire, and it’s clear that those floods were contributed to in large part by climate change. We’re seeing 53,000 early deaths in our country – 9,500 a year in London alone – from air pollution.

Climate change links to everything. Addressing it globally promotes health, education and gender equality, food and water security. Addressing it domestically secures UK jobs and sustainable clean economic growth; it protects communities from flooding and the scandal of fuel poverty. It begins to see clean air flow in our cities and schools.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this agreement. What’s crucial now is the action we take. This has been a major step forward - now’s the moment to deliver on the promises. 

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