UK may delay Paris climate deal ratification till 2017

New UK climate minister thin on details but says government will play an active role in global low carbon diplomacy

Nick Hurd is climate minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Pic: Cabinet Office/Flickr)


UK government ratification of the Paris climate deal and a new plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions through 2030 may have to wait till 2017, climate minister Nick Hurd has told business leaders.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Aldersgate Group, a coalition of green businesses and civil society, Hurd said his department was reviewing policies to meet both goals.

“There is flexibility around timing, it is more important we get this right,” he said in relation to the carbon reduction plan, which had been scheduled be released this year.

The plan is expected to offer businesses a better sense of long term policy after a turbulent few years in UK politics.

A report from the EY consultancy earlier this year said confidence in the government’s clean energy strategy was “on a landslide” after repeated cuts to solar and wind subsidies.

The Brexit vote to leave the EU had made delivering this roadmap to 2030 and formally approving the UN’s new climate deal more complicated, he said.

Asked by Climate Home if the UK would join fellow EU members France and Hungary in gaining Parliamentary approval for ratification this year, Hurd declined to offer any guarantee.

“There are sensitivities around Brexit… but there are shifting dynamics on ratification and we welcome that… we will join the deal as soon as possible.”

On Saturday the US and China both ratified the Paris deal, which requires support from 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions before it enters into force.

So far 26 countries accounting for 40% of emissions have joined. UK emissions represent around 1% of the global total.

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