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Reaction to Rishi Sunak’s COP27 speech

PM urged to show greater commitment to tackling climate crisis
  Published:  07 Nov 2022    |      2 minute read
  • Friends of the Earth spokespeople available in Egypt and the UK

Reacting to Mr Sunak’s speech today at COP27, Friends of the Earth’s international climate campaigner Rachel Kennerley, who is also attending the summit, said:

“Rishi Sunak rightly recognises the enormous threat posed by the mounting climate emergency, and the opportunities that tackling it will create, but without much tougher UK action this will count for little.

“His government is still failing to deliver adequate finance to support vulnerable nations to tackle climate change and deal with its impacts, while continuing to help fund a hugely damaging and destabilising gas project in Mozambique, along with new North Sea gas and oil projects, which will only fuel the climate crisis.

“Instead, ministers should lift the barriers to new onshore wind and roll out a nationwide, street-by-street, home insulation programme – with a bigger, bolder windfall tax on fossil fuel firm profits to help pay for it.

“With next week’s autumn statement and the upcoming decision on a new Cumbrian coal mine, Rishi Sunak’s government has ideal opportunities to show that climate change really is at the heart of government policy making.”

Friends of the Earth welcomed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision last month to reintroduce a ban on fracking and is urging him to go much further to make the transformation to a fairer, green future a top priority. This should include:

  • Ending funding for an environmentally damaging gas mega-project in Mozambique.

Despite promising to stop funding overseas gas and oil projects, the UK government is continuing to help fund the project with over $1bn of UK taxpayers’ money through UK Export Finance (UKEF). A Friends of the Earth judicial review against the government’s decision will be heard by the Court of Appeal in December.

  • Rejecting a planning application for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

A decision on the controversial mine was due in the run up to the Climate summit in Egypt, but it has been postponed until after the talks and is now due “on or before 8 December”.

  • Committing significant funding to help poorer nations to deal with the growing impacts of the climate emergency – a crisis the UK and other wealthy industrialised nations have done the most to cause.
  • Ending the licensing of new gas and oil projects in the North Sea
  • Removing the planning barriers to onshore wind and solar and investing in a nationwide street by street home insulation programme – part funded by a bigger, bolder windfall tax on soaring fossil fuel firm profits.

ENDS

More Friends of the Earth info on COP27 here