17 Apr 2018
As part of this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has announced that £8m will be invested into technology focused on tackling climate change in the Commonwealth’s member states.
£3.5m of this funding will go to the 2050 Energy and Emissions Calculator – a BEIS-run tool that evaluates all possible high-level energy and emission pathways for a country or region to help each decide the best action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
‘The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change while growing our national income, ensuring we are best placed to help other countries reduce harmful carbon emissions,’ said Perry during the announcement.
‘Providing expertise to mitigate global warming and reducing emissions is a crucial priority for Commonwealth nations, and vulnerable Pacific Islands in particular,’ she said.
The technologies are hoped to help the Commonwealth achieve the targets set by the Paris Agreement, including limiting the global tempertaure increase to 1.5°C and significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of developing countries.
From this meeting, the UK will act as Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth until the next meeting in 2020. The role, which rotates through members, is responsible for the overall leadership and guidance of the organisation.
Analysts expect the UK will use this position to strengthen links between the member states to improve trade and collaboration post-Brexit.
Sam Gyimah, Science Minister, will launch a new partnership programme at the meeting – the Met Office Climate Services Pilot for Commonwealth Member Countries. The scheme will use weather data to help combat climate change and prepare for natural disasters.
‘The Commonwealth brings together a rich heritage and shared cultural values, but these aren’t the only common bonds linking member states,’ said Met Office Chief Scientist Stephen Belcher.
‘Each is also inextricably connected by the shared impacts of weather and climate,’ he said. ‘There can surely be no better aspiration than sharing cutting edge climate science to improve the fortunes and prospects of people in their day-to-day lives.’
By Georgina Hines