After more than a year of consultations with experts, academics, the public and local business representatives, the UK’s Climate Commission issued its first report this week on ways the United Kingdom could achieve the cuts needed in greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
“Brexit will remove a great deal of uncertainty and there is much to celebrate about how this report lays the ground for future plans,” said Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader and member of the Privy Council, and a vocal supporter of efforts to combat climate change.
“Nevertheless, today’s report shows that much more has to be done, and that our ability to deliver on our climate promises over the coming decades may be compromised by the specter of a no-deal Brexit,” Corbyn added.
Of the 64 climate pledges made by countries during Paris Agreement negotiations in 2015, only the United States has withdrawn.
The UK has made no formal decision on leaving the EU, but Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party is split on the issue.
“Immediate action to reduce emissions means the UK will need to find an additional £12 billion every year by 2030 in order to meet its climate targets,” said the report.
A report from the Oxford Martin School last month found it would cost at least $90 billion per year by 2030 to meet the climate promises made in Paris.
May believes the UK can still meet the climate target, but hopes for the best, and plans to meet it to the best of her ability.
Corbyn, who was an ardent supporter of leaving the EU, and Conservative leaders with the same opinion, believe it is vital that the UK has a Brexit plan that ensures the country meets its climate targets.
Ministers are due to vote later this month on a Brexit proposal put forward by May in exchange for support on Brexit legislation.
The government believes it has a Plan B, should the no-deal Brexit concept become reality.
This post is part of the Climate Promises Made in Glasgow Project, an editorial partnership between EDF Energy and the Committee on Climate Change. It covers the key issues facing the EU, national governments and UK businesses at a time when the UK is leaving the EU.