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Timing, they say, is everything. Earlier this week, it was revealed that UK Government is drawing up plans to scrap its flagship EUR 11.6 billion climate pledge.

At the same time, firstly last Monday, then last Tuesday and now the whole week has been recorded as the hottest on record. The UN now says “climate change is out of control.”

A leaked briefing note, seen by the Guardian newspaper, outlines reasons why the UK should reduce its contribution to the global USD 100 billion commitment to countries in the Global South.

This is the same pledge the UK promoted at COP26 when Britain hosted the event. Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, reiterated his commitment to the funding pledge at COP27 in Egypt just last year.

The Guardian’s leaked document says: “Our commitment to double our international climate finance to £11.6bn was made in 2019, when we were still at 0.7 [% of GDP spent on international aid] and pre-Covid.”

The document adds that the UK meeting its pledge by the deadline would be a “huge challenge” because of new pressures, including the conflict in Ukraine.

The news is deeply embarrassing for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who also reiterated his support for the pledge just days ago.

It rightly provoked outrage on Twitter, including from Alok Sharma, the British Minister who led the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow.

Other politicians reacted with anger, too. The UK’s only Green MP Caroline Lucas, said: Not only would delaying or dropping this commitment shatter any remaining fragment of our global climate leadership; it would be just the latest in a long string of measures from this government showing total and utter disregard for some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, and for the accelerating climate emergency.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by another former British minister, who said the move would “shred” the UK’s reputation on climate.

Others pointed out the hypocrisy of the move, given that Britain was still funding fossils abroad.

The news came just days after the world’s average temperature reached a new high on Monday 3 July, topping 17 degrees Celsius for the first time.

Monday’s temperature was the highest-ever global instrumental average record going back to the 19th century, according to the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

The record follows a string of extreme weather events across the globe from unprecedented fires in Canada, creating smoke pollution across the East Coast of the United States, while Southern states sweltered under a heat dome, with record temperatures in the Middle East, and China, and unparalleled warm sea temperatures in the North Atlantic, to name a few.

Meanwhile, global sea ice has dropped by over one million square kilometers below its previous low limit.

The record global temperature is concerning scientists. “The average global surface air temperature reaching 17C for the first time since we have reliable records available is a significant symbolic milestone in our warming world,” climate researcher Leon Simons told the BBC.

Simons predicted that more records will be smashed in the coming days, months and years. And true to form, there was another temperature record the following day, on Tuesday Jul 4.

Earlier this morning, it was revealed that the whole week was likely to be the warmest on record.

“This is not a milestone we should be celebrating,” said climate scientist Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Britain’s Imperial College London.” It’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems.”

Jeni Miller, executive director of the California-based Global Climate and Health Alliance, an international consortium of health organizations, told the Guardian newspaper: “The extraction and use of coal, oil and gas harm people’s health, are the primary driver of warming and are incompatible with a healthy climate future.”

Miller added: “That’s all the more reason that governments must prepare to deliver a commitment at COP28 to phase out all fossil fuels, and a just transition to renewable energy for all.”

This is exactly the opposite of what the UK Government has just done, although now the UK is trying to deny that it is dropping the pledge. Speaking yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said the UK remained committed to the EUR 11.6bn pledge.

The trouble is no one believes the UK Government anymore.

One Comment

  • The real trouble in this world today is because nobody believes any government because they have all lied to the populace at one time or another. This time it is our Home, our Planet. There is more than enough evidence that we are killing ourselves for the sake of intended profits for the few that have lied to us for decades, if not longer. When will you wake up? When will you care about the legacy you are leaving your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?

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