Shifting to low carbon
Climate change is not just an environmental challenge - it is a threat to the global economy and security.
An increase in extreme weather and flooding will undoubtedly increase drought, conflict and poverty. The UK Government is committed to lowering carbon to reduce this threat.
What is the FCO doing to lower carbon?
- the EU to implement an ambitious package of targets for emissions and use of key low carbon technologies
- the EU to lead a global plan for universal deployment of carbon capture and storage
- significant investment in low carbon technologies
- a carbon price to be established in the EU and other major economies such as the G8+5
- the EU working with China to increase two-way flow of low carbon investment.
But we need to help create the right political conditions to do this:
- leaders need to see a stable climate is essential for their national security and prosperity
- leaders need to publicly support an ambitious framework
- developing countries need to determine what they want from a framework
- key countries and blocs need to be engaged in negotiations based on mutual trust and scientific and economic evidence.
We also work closely with other UK Government departments including the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) to support their important work abroad. Read Claire Hughes’s blog about her climate change project in Costa Rica – Claire was on a sabbatical to the FCO from Defra.
Examples of our recent work on low carbon includes:
- signing an agreement on lowering emissions with the US state of Florida
- a project in the Amazon Basin to predict the possible scenarios of climate change impact.
The Stern Review
The Stern Review published in 2006, focussed on the economics of climate change.
The Review makes a strong economic case for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gases.
It estimated that the annual cost of stabilising between 500-550ppm CO2e (around a 2-3 degree temperature rise) would be around 1% of GDP by 2050. This will be 5-20% if emissions go unchecked and temperatures continue to rise.
It concluded the benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweighs the costs.
The Review recommended that policy to reduce emissions should be based on 3 elements:
- carbon pricing
- removal of the barriers to behavioural change.
You can download the full Stern Review from the HM Treasury website.
Read the latest case studies on our work to reduce carbon:FCO in action map has all the latest case studies.
Read more about our low carbon work in our latest departmental report.
Stern Review - full report on the HM Treasury website