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UK carbon target to remain despite Brexit says energy secretary

The UK will remain committed to action against climate change despite its vote to leave the European Union, energy secretary Amber Rudd said today.

Speaking at an annual climate summit for business leaders in London, Rudd said that while she believes “the UK’s role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away”.

“Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat,” she said. “It remains one of the most serious long-term risks to our economic and national security.

“I was lucky enough to lead the world-class team of British diplomats at last year’s Paris climate talks. Our efforts were central to delivering that historic deal,” she noted, adding that “the UK will not step back from that international leadership. We must not turn our back on Europe or the world.”

Rudd also noted that UK investment in renewable power projects and technologies has increased by 42 per cent since 2010, and that “in 2014, 30 per cent of all of Europe’s renewable energy investment took place in the UK”. She said government’s support for renewables “is expected to double during this Parliament” to more than à‚£10bn ($13bn).”

Rudd also confirmed that the government is still due to announce its carbon emissions target for 2030, or ‘carbon budget‘, this week, despite fears that the Brexit vote would cause the deadline to be missed.

Under the policy, the UK would commit to reducing its carbon emissions by 57 per cent below 1990 levels by 2032 ” a stronger target than that set by the EU, which is aiming for a 40 per cent cut by 2030.

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