Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to make the UK into a “clean energy superpower,” as he traveled to the COP27 climate conference in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt. Sunak, who will address the conference on Monday, will also announce a series of energy transition, climate financing and forest and nature preservation commitments, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The PMO said that in his address at COP27, Sunak will announce plans for the UK to work with international allies to expand and accelerate the transition to cleaner energy, “in light of the shock to the energy markets caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
The announcement follows the release earlier this year by the UK government of its Energy Security Strategy, outlining its plans to boost its long-term energy independence, while scaling clean and affordable energy. The strategy, introduced following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, included plans to significantly ramp the deployment of renewable energy, with offshore wind power to reach up to 50GW by 2030, solar to surge 5x by 2035 from its current 14 GW, low carbon hydrogen production to hit 10 GW by 2030, and nuclear to reach up to 24 GW by 2050.
Renewable sources of energy currently make up more than 40% of the UK’s energy supply, up 4x over the past 10 years.
“We need to move further and faster to transition to renewable energy, and I will ensure the UK is at the forefront of this global movement as a clean energy superpower.”
As part of the commitments to be announced by the Prime Minister, the UK said that it will boost its contributions to international climate finance, and triple funding for climate adaptation around the world to £1.5 billion in 2025. Sunak will also confirm £65 million in funding to support indigenous and local forest communities through the Nature, People and Climate Investment Fund, and £65.5 million for the Clean Energy Innovation Facility to provide grants to researchers and scientists in developing countries to accelerate the development of clean technology.
Sunak will also host an event at the conference on Monday for the launch of the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership. Kicking off with 20 countries, the initiative will track commitments on the Forests and Land Use declaration at COP26, which aims to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. The PMO said that the UK will commit £90 million for conservation in the Congo Basin tropical rainforest.
“When the world came together in Glasgow last year, nations agreed an historic roadmap for preventing catastrophic global warming. As I travel to COP27 in Egypt today, it is more important than ever that we deliver on those pledges.”