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COP26 President, Alok Sharma's Speech at COP27 Breakthrough Agenda: One Year On event

COP26 President, Alok Sharma's Speech given recently (11 November 2022) at COP27 Breakthrough Agenda: One Year On event.

Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the UK Pavilion and decarbonisation day.

We are half way through COP and obviously I can see the experienced folk who are able to get here at 8am in the morning, others are flagging but thank you for coming to this important event.

Can I also say that today marks Armistice Day and the UK Pavilion will be marking a 2 minute silence at 1pm. You’re all welcome but if you are coming please try and get there 5 minutes before 1pm.

Ministers, colleagues, friends. Good morning to you, firstly a big thank you to everyone who helped get us to this point when it comes to the Breakthrough Agendas.

And, you have been incredibly supportive over the three years of the UK’s Presidency and I know that you will do the same for our friends in Egypt as well, both at this COP but also in their presidency year as well.

So we are marking a one-year launch anniversary of the Breakthrough Agenda in Glasgow.

And, just a reflection on decarbonisation. We’re all doing our bit domestically in our countries and when I was Business and Energy Secretary in our Government, we launched the 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution looking at a whole range of sectors where we needed to decarbonise rapidly.

We launched our energy white paper so there is a lot of work that certainly the UK has done and each of you have done domestically as well in your countries.

The aim of the Breakthrough Agenda was actually to bring countries together to collaborate and make sure that we decarbonise the most critical sectors: Road Transport, Power, Agriculture, Hydrogen and Steel.

And I was really pleased to say that we had 45 governments coming together and they account for around 75 percent of global GDP, so a real heft behind this Breakthrough Agenda work.

And the aim of it of course is to deploy innovative and sustainable decarbonisation solutions, and very importantly to make them accessible and affordable for everyone.

And for people like Stephen Guilbeault, my friend Grant Shapps, ministers who talk to their counterparts around the world will know that one of the big asks of many developing nations is technology at affordable levels as well as finance.

This is an agenda that will help us get there and we have made really good progress over the last year

If you have a look at Zero Emission Vehicles.

There has been a 95 percent increase in global sales, with 1.5 million sold in the first quarter of this year.

And the pace of that is accelerating, same thing with renewables with a big increase this year.

And if you have a look at what the IEA has said, their analysis shows that of all the newly installed energy capacity across the world in 2021, 90% of that was renewables and they expect the same thing in 2022 and 2023 as well.

So I am really pleased that we are making progress across some of these agendas.

I want to welcome Cambodia and Austria, who have recently endorsed the Breakthrough Agenda.

I also want to thank our friends in Germany, Cambodia, Australia and Ireland for endorsing the Agriculture Breakthrough.

And thank you to our friends in France, who have expanded our scope and they have the intent now to launch a Buildings Breakthrough, which as you know in the UK 25% of emissions come from buildings, they’re going to do that in collaboration with our friends from Morocco.

And of course thank you also to Canada, Steven who stated their intent to launch a Cement Breakthrough as well.

But the reality is we know that as with all the commitments we got in Glasgow, that none of this will count for anything unless we actually follow through and we implement so I hope that is something that we will be doing together.

Now one of the other things that people have said to me during this year is that you launched lots of initiatives in Glasgow but what happens when your presidency ends and it has ended.

And what we have tried to do is to house many of these in different forums so that the work can continue

So I can tell you that Mission Innovation and the Clean Energy Ministerial is going to take on the joint stewardship of the Breakthrough Agenda, they’ll do that for an initial pilot phase of one year.

Many of you were with us in New York as well at the UN General Assembly and you will know that on the side lines we also launched the first Breakthrough Agenda Report, put together by the IEA, by IRENA and the High Level Champions, so thank you to all of them and the ministers who attended that meeting at the UK mission

And subsequent of that we have agreed to launch a set of specific and time-bound priority actions.

Four that I want to highlight.

One, collectively we will be developing standards and rules for trade.

Secondly, we are developing demand creation plans.

Thirdly, we are working to improve the provision of finance, international assistance and research.

And fourthly we are taking steps to enhance development and demonstration.

Now I just want to give you a concrete example, one of the priority actions focuses on the research, development and deployment of technologies at that really crucial intersection of climate and food security, and that’s work being done as part of the Agriculture Breakthrough.

And I am also delighted to tell you that 28 leading countries in these areas have agreed to take forward these actions across all five sectors, and collectively that represents over 50 percent of global GDP.

The final thing I want to say is that you all know this, the cost of inaction on this issue is going to be significantly more than the cost of action.

And we have a real opportunity here to build economies and to build green jobs and actually at the end of the day deliver not only a clean environment but also a wealthier set of communities across the world.

So thank you for everything you are doing and we look forward to continuing to work with you.


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