UK is urged to ratify the Paris Climate change deal

Pressure is growing on the Government to ratify the Paris climate change deal (COP21) immediately. In a week where the USA and China signed up together, the opposition parties say that the UK will lose its long term leadership on climate if they dither.

An opposition day event to ask about the Paris Agreement has been called today in parliament. Labour's shadow climate change minister Barry Gardiner says he has offered an "olive branch" to Business Secretary Greg Clark, who has previously expressed great concern for the climate.

Mr Gardiner says he will turn the opposition day debate into a co-operative policy exercise if Mr Clark begins ratification beforehand.

Separately during today’s Prime Ministers Questions , Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, asked the PM for a firm date for the Paris ratification. To which Theresa May replied “We will indeed  be ratifying the Paris agreement” before moving on to thank her now Home Secretary Amber Rudd who she said “played a very key role in the Paris agreement” when in her previous position at DECC.

Yesterday the new Energy and Climate Minister Nick Hurd insisted that the UK will ratify the COP21 Climate deal “as quickly as possible” speaking at a climate event in London.

Mr Gardiner told BBC News: "The normal procedure for domestic ratification would see the government issue a Command Paper, which would be discussed by a small committee of MPs.

"The government has not indicated it is ready to do this to allow the UK to be one of the founding parties to the agreement when it comes into force - most likely by the end of this year. We need to re-establish common ground on this vital issue. I am holding out an olive branch to the government.”

Liberal Democrat spokeswoman Lynne Featherstone told the BBC: "Now America and even China have ratified the Paris Agreement, Britain must move as swiftly as possible to sign. This is a hugely important example of where Britain should be working with our European partners to set an example for the rest of the world."

Here at Elmhurst we understand that the requirements for this now reside in the new department Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which was only set up in Theresa May’ reshuffle in July. We also ask that Greg Clark MP (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and Nick Hurd MP (Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry) push on and give the UK a leading role in moving our country towards the carbon goals that were agreed in Paris in December 2015

At the time Barak Obama US President Barack Obama hailed the agreement as "ambitious" and "historic", but also warned against complacency. "Together, we've shown what's possible when the world stands as one," he said. And although admitting that the deal was not "perfect", he said it was "the best chance to save the one planet we have".

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