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BSRIA calls for government to lead the way on COP21 targets

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World Cement,

Following the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, BSRIA has welcomed the global agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C from pre-industrial times as soon as possible, and possibly as low as 1.5°C. However, they caution that government support is needed in order for industry to meet these goals.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “The achievement of this broadly-based agreement is a step forward in the drive towards climate control. However, if businesses within the industry are expected to pick up the financial tab, we now need government to set the direction to allow industry to play its part in leading this vital global challenge. Recent government announcements have identified a shrinking investment in renewables. Indeed, there is mounting political scepticism about the UK’s own commitment to standing behind these words, as a result of a series of policy U-turns on climate change by the government – most of them in the built environment.

“There are clearly huge changes and challenges ahead in the expected energy transition away from fossil fuels. This global deal now means that the whole world has signed to play its part in halting climate change. Global warming is a real problem. As an industry we have the skills, technology and the desire to make a difference. But the government should do more to back clean technology. It must provide a stable environment that enables investment in cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy generation, including renewable technologies.”

The Paris agreement was adopted by 196 nations and includes the following:

Keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C. Governments have agreed to limit the increase in global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Pledges to curb emissions. Before the conference, more than 180 countries had submitted pledges to cut or curb their carbon emissions. These deals are recognised under the agreement, but are not legally binding.

Long-term goal for net zero emissions. Countries have promised to try to bring global emissions down from peak levels as soon as possible. That means getting to ‘net zero emissions’ between 2050 and 2100. The UN’s climate science panel says net zero emissions must come about by 2070 to avoid dangerous warming.

Take stock every five years. 187 countries have put forward plans to cut emissions beyond 2020, as far out as 2030. The text has a mechanism to ramp up pledges every five years.

Loss and damage. The deal includes a mechanism for addressing the financial losses vulnerable countries face from climate impacts such as extreme weather.

Money. Developing countries will get funding to adapt to climate change and transition to clean energy. The text says the countries ‘intend to continue their existing collective mobilisation goal through 2025’. That means the flow of £66 billion a year will continue beyond 2020.

Adapted from press release by

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