COP21: The Monday after

As one battle is won, another gets going. After a flurry of activity to secure a climate deal in Paris at the end of last week, policymakers now turn their attention to the hard graft of implementation. How to achieve the phase-out of fossil fuels and fund a switch to low carbon will be among key issues to resolve as nations seek to limit global temperatures to 1.5C. In some countries, such as the US, it remains to be seen whether commitments will be sustained should there be a change of government.

In the UK, the Government has been quick to pledge support for the COP21 deal. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who attended the talks, said Britain was “absolutely committed” to the agreement. However she faced questions about the Conservative administration’s policies on renewables, and NGOs have urged her government to rethink incentives for fossil fuels in light of the deal.

Someone else determined to hold the Government’s feet to the fire on COP21 is former Labour Leader Ed Miliband, who has indicated he will try and insert an amendment to the Energy Bill that aims for a zero emissions goal. Miliband, who is re-entering the limelight after his election defeat, is reportedly planning to lead a cross-party group of MPs in support of the measure when Parliament returns in January. Expect the Paris accord to become another point of contention in an already-heated domestic debate on energy. 

Photograph: UNFCCC

Larry Smith

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search