Indian prime minister Narendra Modi
(right) shakes hands with new British prime minister Boris Johnson
BRITISH prime minister Boris Johnson has said that India has done ‘incredible things’ in the solar energy sector.
While addressing the climate ambition summit, co-hosted by the UK to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, Johnson warned that the emergency facing the world from climate change will be more destructive than the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re going ahead with a massive solar programme, even though we can’t hope to emulate the incredible things being done by India, Australia or Morocco for instance,” johnson said in his speech to the virtual summit.
“Today, we’re putting our foot to the accelerator – in a carbon friendly way of course – with a Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. We want to turn the UK into the Saudi Arabia of wind power generation, enough wind power by 2030 to supply every single one of our homes with electricity. We’re liberating the awesome potential of hydrogen, whether for homes or all sorts of uses.”
He urged world leaders to increase their ambition on cutting the greenhouse gases that drive climate change.
He said: “Together we can use scientific advances to protect our entire planet – our biosphere – against a challenge far worse, far more destructive even than the coronavirus. And by the promethean power of our invention, we can begin to defend the earth against the disaster of global warming.”
The summit was held as a precursor to the UK’s hosting of the UN’s COP26 summit in November 2021.
Alok Sharma, UK business secretary and president of COP26, said: “Have we made any real progress at this summit? And the answer to that is: yes. But they will also ask, have we done enough to put the world on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and protect people and nature from the effects of climate change?
“To make the Paris Agreement a reality. Friends, we must be honest with ourselves, the answer to that, is currently: no. As encouraging as all this ambition is. It is not enough.”
Last week, the UK announced an end to support for the fossil fuel sector overseas. It supported £21 billion oil and gas exports through trade promotion and export finance.
The new policy will be implemented after a short period of consultation and is intended to come into force as soon as possible before COP26 next year.
The UK had recently also announced a new commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.