UK launches 'international priorities' on climate change

Urgent international action is required to tackle climate change and secure sustainable energy supplies, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said today.

Mr Straw was speaking at the launch of the 'UK International Priorities - the Energy Strategy' which aims to tackle climate change and curb carbon emissions, diversify the energy mix to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, improve the long term stability of the international energy market, and work to help producer countries vulnerable to instability.

Principally, it will help the poorest countries, especially in Africa, which are hardest hit by climate change and rising fossil fuel prices - and in which people often don't benefit from their own resources.

Mr Straw said: "Mitigating the effects of climate change and ensuring we have secure and affordable energy supplies are vital to Britain's future prosperity and security. The challenge ahead of us is complex and global - it requires not just domestic but international action.

"The UK is leading by example: we are putting ourselves on a path to a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. But we can achieve little alone. Today's International Energy Strategy sets out how we will work across government and with international partners to ensure our long term energy interests."

The strategy was also backed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Margaret Beckett, who said that climate change would only be tackled through "concerted international action".

The strategy will build on the Duma's decision to ratify the Kyoto agreement, and will form a centrepiece of the UK's forthcoming presidencies of the G8 and European Union.


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