Chatham House
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Rishi Sunak’s speech will make the UK harder to take seriously at COP28


The UK Prime Minister delayed or abandoned critical measures to reduce emissions while claiming to be committed to 2030 and 2050 net zero targets. The UK’s international credibility has been damaged as a result.

The UK has for decades been seen as a global leader in climate change action.

The 2008 Climate Change Act has been the gold standard for climate change governance. More recently, in 2021, as president of COP 26, the UK pledged to reduce its emissions by 68 per cent by 2030, from 1990 levels – seen as a standard-setting target.

More recently the UK has spoken in support of the Bridgetown Agenda (an effort to mobilize climate finance and support for climate adaptation for low-income states) and committed £2 billion to the Green Climate Fund.

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