Perry's Paris pride

13th June 2017
Perry's Paris pride
Perry's Paris pride

Claire Perry, the new climate change minister, made an outspoken declaration of her belief in the reality of anthropogenic global warming a year before her appointment.

The 53-year-old former banker, who resigned as rail minister last year, hailed the Paris agreement as an achievement of which the Conservatives could be proud.

Perry, an alumna of Braesnose College, Oxford, and Harvard, who replaces Nick Hurd following his promotion to police minister, wrote on her website:

Climate change is happening now and I agree that it is one of the most serious threats that we face. Indeed, it has been confirmed that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the dominant cause, and that climate change will continue over the decades and centuries to come in the absence of significant emission reductions. I am glad therefore that the UK is taking a leading role on the world stage, working towards a binding global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change to manageable levels.

2015 was an important year for climate change, and the agreement made at the United Nations climate summit in Paris in December is an achievement of which - I feel - the Conservatives can be proud. This historic outcome includes, for the first time, pledges from all countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of global warming being constrained well below 2 Celsius. The Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State all played important roles in securing this agreement. This builds on work that Conservatives started more than 20 years ago under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, who first raised the dangers of climate change with world leaders and pressed for a UN treaty.

The deal reached in Paris has important ramifications for many aspects of British life. For our military, curbing climate change could result in fewer demands in future than would otherwise have been the case, for humanitarian intervention and conflict resolution. Our farmers can anticipate less disruption from weather extremes than would otherwise have been the case. For investors and businesses, the direction of travel in every major nation including China, the US and India is now towards a low-carbon economy; no longer can anyone justifiably claim that Britain is the only country acting to restrain its carbon emissions. I am also pleased that the Government's decision to phase out coal within a decade will be followed by many other countries.

In addition, I know that this Government remains committed to meeting 15 per cent of the UK's energy demands from renewable resources by 2020. More than £42 billion has already been invested in renewables, nuclear, and Carbon Capture technology since 2010, and 2014 was a record year with more than £8 billion being invested.

As you will know, planning for the Fifth Carbon Budget is already underway, and I hope to see an ambitious set of targets, that are balanced with keeping costs affordable for consumers. It is only fair to expect bill-payers to support low carbon power as long as costs are controlled. Moreover, you may be interested to hear that the Government is introducing a new energy efficiency supplier obligation that will help over a million homes, and which will help people cut their emissions while keeping bills low.


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