Some of the UK’s largest development and environment groups have urged the country’s next prime minister to slam Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
The likes of Green Alliance, Greenpeace, WWF and Good Energy have co-signed a statement that acknowledges the widespread international condemnation of president Trump’s actions last week and called on the next prime minister to go further than the UK government’s expression of disappointment.
Unlike French president Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders who strongly rebuked Trump last week, current UK PM Theresa May reportedly refused to sign off on a statement co-written by numerous world leaders reiterating their commitment to the Paris Accord, and instead insisted earlier this week that she thought the US move was a bad idea.
Yesterday’s statement from green groups insists that the UK must go further if it is to retain its leadership on climate issues.
“Whilst we acknowledge the UK government’s expression of disappointment at President Trump’s decision, the public expect their leaders to have a similar level of clarity and resolve on this issue as other heads of state and government. At the very least, the UK should immediately join the High Ambition Coalition of nations in pledging to ‘fight for the full implementation’ of the deal. The formation of this Coalition was a key success of the Paris negotiations, and one in which the UK played a significant role.
“The next UK Prime Minister – whoever that might be – must then use the G20 meeting taking place in less than five weeks, to make it clear that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated and that all major polluters should play their part in reducing the risks from climate change. These steps are necessary to demonstrate that the UK remains a responsible global player with an independent voice on the world stage,” the statement reads.
Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy policy at WWF, said the world needed the UK to “step up and lead the way” on climate change.
“This is why we are calling on the next government of the UK to step confidently back onto the world stage and stand with our global partners to forge ahead and press on with full implementation’ of the historic accord signed in Paris. This must start at the G20 in July. It is what the public wants, it makes economic sense for the UK and it is what the world needs in order to safeguard the lives of future generations,” he added.
The UK takes to the polls tomorrow morning.