David Cameron’s Remarks at UN Climate Summit 2014
23 September 2014
Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our world. And it is not just a threat to the environment. It is also a threat to our national security, to global security, to poverty eradication and to economic prosperity.
And we must agree a global deal in Paris next year. We simply cannot put this off any longer.
And I pay tribute to Secretary General Ban for bringing everyone together here today and for putting real focus on this issue.
Now my country, the United Kingdom, is playing its part.
In fact, it was Margaret Thatcher who was one of the first world leaders to demand action on climate change, right here at the United Nations 25 years ago.
Now since then, the UK has cut greenhouse gas emissions by one quarter. We have created the world’s first Climate Change Act. And as Prime Minister, I pledged that the government I lead would be the greenest government ever. And I believe we’ve kept that promise.
We’ve more than doubled our capacity in renewable electricity in the last 4 years alone. We now have enough solar to power almost a million UK homes. We have the world’s leading financial centre in carbon trading. And we have established the world’s first green investment bank. We’ve invested ￡1 billion in Carbon Capture and Storage. And we’ve said no to any new coal without Carbon Capture and Storage. We are investing in all forms of lower carbon energy including shale gas and nuclear, with the first new nuclear plant coming on stream for a generation.
Now, as a result of all that we are doing, we are on track to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. And we are playing our role internationally as well, providing nearly ￡4 billion of climate finance over 5 years as part of our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our Gross National Income on aid. And we are one of the only countries in the advanced world to do that and to meet our promises.
We now need the whole world though to step up to deliver a new, ambitious, global deal which keeps the 2 degree goal within reach. I’ll be pushing European Union leaders to come to Paris with an offer to cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030.