London, 14 September: Five senior peers, including former Chancellor Lord Lawson and former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Lord Turnbull, have called on the government not to ratify the Paris climate agreement before the consequences of the EU referendum are fully taken into consideration.
In a letter to Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the Minister of State for Energy, the peers (Lord Lawson, Lord Donoghue, Baroness Nicholson, Lord Ridley and Lord Turnbull) warn that it would not be clear what the government would be ratifying given that only the EU but not the UK have submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
“Ignoring such considerations and pressing ahead with ratification under the existing EU process would be unwise; such a commitment would be invalid as soon as we leave the EU.”
The peers also criticise that the 5th Carbon Budget was set by the previous government without any consideration of the huge implications of leaving the EU.
“The referendum result will have a direct impact on the Fifth Carbon Budget in a number of significant ways. The UK will be relying on the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) to deliver over half of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the budgetary period . Despite enormous uncertainty over this crucial element of the Carbon Budget, the impact assessment fails even to acknowledge that the referendum has taken place.”
Letter to Baroness Neville-Rolfe (pdf)