The recent UN Climate Change Agreement is a great diplomatic success and must be celebrated. The commitments to cut greenhouse gases are a massive step forwards and give firm hope that we will see an end of the fossil fuel era.
The success of these talks showed that international cooperation is the best way to tackle international crises and we are at a time in our world where all of the biggest nations, from China to the USA are waking up to the fact that we must act on climate change before it is too late.
As Liberal Democrats, we are proud of our long and successful track record of pushing for more decisive action on climate change and actively campaigning against it, both in and out of government. I am proud that when we were in Government my friend and colleague Ed Davey led a fantastic department which almost trebled electricity production from renewable sources and secured ambitious EU climate change targets. Indeed, the realisation that we must address environmental issues was one of the main reasons why I got involved in politics.
The steps which led to the Paris agreement were steps which were directly influenced by the Lib Dems, as we led British environmental policy and shaped the European Union’s for the last five years when in Coalition.
We must now work towards delivering the promises agreed in Paris and turn these promises into a reality.
This will now be much harder, as since the end of the Coalition Government and the end of Liberal Democrat control over the Government’s environmental policies, the Government have taken a huge backwards step on green policies, slashing support for renewable energy and cleaner coal.
The UK and the global community must live up to the commitments made in Paris and take decisive action against climate change now, as this may well be our last chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C.
After the COP21 conference in Paris and the agreements made, I feel confident to say that our world is in a better position to limit global temperature rise more than ever before. We just need to ensure the UK pulls its weight.