Rishi Sunak will call for “pragmatic” climate action at COP28, as he seeks to reassure international partners following his climate U-turns earlier this year.
Mr Sunak changed a number of plans put in place by his predecessors over the summer – including the phasing out of the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. This now has a 2035 deadline.
Some £4bn of green investment was announced by the chancellor in last week’s autumn statement.
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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will also be at the UN climate conference in Dubai as he looks to build international bridges ahead of the general election expected next year.
And he has used his trip to Dubai to say Mr Sunak‘s government is “sending the wrong signals” on the move to net zero.
Before his visit, Mr Sunak said “the UK has lead the way in taking pragmatic, long-term decisions at home – and at COP28 we will lead international efforts to protect the world’s forests, turbocharge renewable energy and leverage the full weight of private finance”.
The prime minister will announce £1.6bn of UK financing for climate projects while in Dubai.
This includes £500m for forests and sustainable land, £316m for green energy projects around the world and other schemes which will be announced later on.
Some £40m will be contributed to a new global scheme aiming to address loss and damage – Germany and hosts UAE will give around £79m, while the US and Japan will give less than the UK.
As well as his climate U-turns, the prime minister has also been criticised for his government’s continuing issuing of oil and gas licences in the North Sea.
What is COP28, who is going, and what’s at stake?
Sunak and Sir Keir head to COP28 in Dubai
Mr Sunak said: “The world made ambitious pledges at previous COP summits to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. But the time for pledges is now over – this is the era for action.
“We know that the technologies and innovations we need to protect the planet are at our fingertips, from the mighty offshore wind farms powering the UK to the solar energy transforming electricity in Africa.
“The transition to net zero should make us all safer and better off. It must benefit, not burden ordinary families.”
Mr Sunak will also use the summit to speak with world leaders about the conflict in the Middle East.
Sir Keir, meanwhile, will use the summit to further his plans to encourage green investment and business in the UK should he become prime minister.
But Labour recently had to deny he was watering down his promise to invest £28bn a year in green initiatives.
This is said to be a target – and will be subject to “fiscal rules” imposed by a Labour chancellor if they are in power.
Speaking ahead of his trip, Sir Keir said he wanted to “set the agenda” on green finance – and this will be done by “partnering with business”.
Labour says it would force FTSE 100 companies to publish their carbon footprint and adhere to “credible” plans to limit climate change to an increase of 1.5C.