MP Lucy Frazer on climate change pledges at COP26

MP Lucy Frazer recently visited Soham Village College for her annual inter-school debating competition.

MP Lucy Frazer recently visited Soham Village College for her annual inter-school debating competition for secondary schools in her constituency of East Cambridgeshire. - Credit: LUCY FRAZER'S OFFICE

Over the past two weeks, the world has had its eyes closely fixed on Glasgow and the outcome of COP26. 

The agreement agreed by world leaders and negotiators, sets out the following pledges. 

On coal, 65 countries have now committed to phasing down the use of coal power. 

All major coal financing countries have committed to end international coal finance by the end of 2021, with $20 billion in funding to support the transition to clean power announced at COP26. 

There is now more work to be done to ensure all major emitters sign up to phase out coal. 

On cars, over 30 countries and some of the world’s largest car makers committed to work together to make all new car sales zero emission globally by 2040. 

And by 2035 in leading markets, building on the UK’s commitment to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. 

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On cash, more public and private finance has been mobilised to support climate action in developing countries than ever before and the global financial system is aligning behind a net zero world. 

New pledges made at COP26 bring countries closer to meeting the $100bn annual climate finance target next year, as well as mobilising billions in private finance and green investment. 

Governments have committed to double the overall finance for adaptation and better address the threat of loss and damage in climate-vulnerable countries. 

The UK will work with all countries to make good on those pledges. 

And on trees, more than 130 leaders, representing over 90 per cent of the world’s forests, pledged at COP26 to end deforestation by 2030, backed by almost £14 billion of public and private funding. 

Our local area continues to play its part in tackling climate change and making our environment a greener place to live.  

The Swaffham Prior Community Heat project, the first of its kind, has received £3.3m of Government funding. 

It will enable an entire village to transition from oil to low carbon heat using a hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump and Air Source Heat Pump.  

The project has been spearheaded by members of the village, Swaffham Community Land Trust and Cambridgeshire County Council, and will build a blueprint for other areas across our region and across the country. 

Chalk streams are important for our area and I have endorsed the Granta Catchment Resilience Programme which seeks to protect the River Granta chalk stream.  

The programme is promoting nature-based solutions, such as wetlands and recharge basins, as part of an integrated approach to managing water resources while minimising the risk of flooding. 

These initiatives will also improve the water quality in adjacent rivers, as well as supporting river base flows and naturally recharging groundwater. 

The UK Government has recently committed to investing £3.8 billion into cleaner transport and improving air quality, including £1.2 billion to increase cycling and walking. 

Locally, the Greater Cambridge Partnership is overseeing the new ‘Greenways’ cycle lane schemes which will connect local villages and provide fantastic cycling and walking routes.   

Schoolchildren regularly contact me about protecting the planet, and this year's motion in the debating competition is ‘This House believes that no issue is no more important than climate change.' 

I have already heard many compelling points of view - and look forward to many more.  

The UK has demonstrated global leadership on this issue, leading from the front on reducing emissions and decarbonisation. 

The UK has cut 44 per cent of the levels seen in 1990 – the biggest reduction seen by any developed economy in the world. 

The UK also became the first major economy to create a legal requirement for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and we are the only G20 member with domestic targets and policies that are consistent with 1.5 degrees or less of warming.  

As we hold the COP presidency for another year, I am confident that we will continue to press other nations to do more to protect our planet as well as play our part on a local level.