Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Boris Johnson “undermined” Alok Sharma at Cop26, says Labor

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Boris Johnson has been accused of “undermining” his own climate conference minister, Alok Sharma, by failing to support him with ambitious UK commitments at Cop26.

Labor said the goal of keeping global warming within 1.5 ° C is on “intensive care” after the leaders’ agreement at the end of the Glasgow summit.

The opposition claimed the Prime Minister left his Cop26 president in a weak position because the government cut foreign aid budgets and did not stop UK fossil fuel projects.

Write for The independent oneShadow Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said the government must “learn the lessons from what we failed to do in Glasgow” – pointing out that the UK will still hold the cop presidency for next year.

“It is time to finally say no to the planned new coal mine in Cumbria and finalize the plan for the new Cambo oil field, the equivalent of operating 18 new coal-fired power plants for one year,” wrote Miliband.

He added, “We should rewrite our trade deal with Australia, not to water down temperature targets like the government has done, but to strengthen it by putting 1.5 degrees at the center.”

Vice-Chair Angela Rayner also criticized Mr. Johnson’s failure to be present in the final hours of the conference to help Mr. Sharma move China and India to a stronger commitment to ending coal dependence.

“Boris Johnson could have done more to be there and to make sure that in this room on the crucial occasions that [he would] be able to influence opinion, ”Ms. Rayner told the BBC The Andrew Marr Show.

She added, “We saw Alok Sharma do his best. But Boris Johnson has undermined some of our efforts by using fossil fuels, investing in them, by cutting foreign aid. We can do a lot more to lead by example around the world. “

In a dramatic last-minute intervention at the Glasgow Summit, India and China were able to change the wording of the final agreement so that coal-based power generation would “phase out” instead of “phase out”.

Mr Sharma – who apparently broke down briefly when apologizing to delegates and activists for the late move – claimed on Sunday that the weakened deal was still progress. “We kept 1.5 within reach,” he said.

Labor shadow Ed Miliband also accused the Johnson administration of “undermining” Mr. Sharma. “I can only praise Alok Sharma. But I’m afraid the rest of the government hasn’t helped him and undermined him with decisions like cutting foreign aid, ”he told Sky News Trevor Phillips on Sunday .

The Labor Frontbencher added: “Because we said to other countries at the time, ‘Please increase climate finance’ when we withdrew aid to poorer countries.”

Mr Johnson and Mr Sharma will be grilled at a press conference on the Glasgow climate deal later on Sunday. The couple will be answering questions about the global pact on Downing Street at 5 p.m.

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