Corbyn calls for UK to stop passing the buck on climate change to poorer countries
Corbyn says UK contribution to climate crisis
“even greater than we think” as he calls for UK to stop “passing the
buck to poorer countries”
Speaking at Labour’s International Social Forum today (Sunday),
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will announce that the next Labour
government will act to stop the UK government hiding the country’s “true
impact on our climate” by measuring the emissions created through our
consumption as well as production.
Corbyn will explain that the way the UK only measures the emissions
created through the production of goods and services in the UK, “hides
our true impact on our climate” because “we don’t only contribute to
climate breakdown with what we produce, we contribute with what we
Over the past three decades, the UK has off-shored the production of
manufactured and agricultural goods it consumes, along with the
associated greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2016, emissions associated with imported goods made up 45 per cent
of the UK’s overall consumption emissions. While the UK’s territorial
emissions are falling, the UK’s consumption emissions have barely
changed in the past two decades.
Corbyn will announce that the next Labour government will “show true
international leadership” by making Britain the first major economy in
the world to measure the emissions we import, as well as those we
Labour will amend the Climate Change Act to instruct the Committee on
Climate Change to include an assessment of our “total footprint
emissions” in their annual report to Parliament, measuring our progress
against them and recommending policies to reduce them.
Announcing the policy, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will say:
“The next Labour government will show true international leadership
in tackling the climate crisis. We will face up to the climate emergency
by recognising our real carbon footprint.
“Currently, when we measure a country’s emissions, we are talking
about the greenhouse gasses generated as goods and services are produced
in that country. But for a country like Britain, that measurement hides
the country’s true impact on our climate because we don’t only
contribute to climate breakdown with what we produce, we contribute with
what we consume too.
“Over the last two decades the UK has reduced emissions – but it has
done so in part by off-shoring those emissions. “That isn’t tackling
global emissions – it is passing the buck to poorer countries.
“It’s time we were honest about our contribution to the climate
crisis: it is even greater than we think. So under Labour, Britain will
become the first major economy in the world to measure these consumption
emissions and take action to reduce them.
“We shouldn’t see this as a burden. Offshoring our emissions isn’t just bad for the climate, it’s bad for UK industry.
“When we measure the emissions from goods produced in the UK but not
those produced overseas, it puts industry here, especially
energy-intensive industries like steel, at a disadvantage. So we will
remove the perverse incentive to damage our own economy with no benefit
to the climate.
“And we will send financial and technical support to the developing
world, helping them adopt greener methods of production and reducing the
carbon content of the goods we import.”