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Press release

17 November 2016

Christian Aid responds to UK ratification of Paris Agreement

“The country that dominated the first industrial revolution is now positioning itself to capitalise on the second.”

Speaking from the COP22 climate summit in Marrakech, Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, welcomed the UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement.

He said: “During a week in which the international climate negotiations have experienced the shock of the US elections, this backing by America’s oldest and strongest ally shows that support for global action to tackle climate change remains resolute.

“If the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States can’t shake countries’ resolve then nothing will.  Not only have nations remained steady, a number have actively ratified the Paris Agreement since the election, including even the petro-state of Saudi Arabia.

“If a modern, post-Brexit Britain is to thrive it needs to be at the forefront of the global clean energy transition, something the UK’s low carbon sector is well placed to take advantage of.

“Market forces are clearly pointing towards the smart money being in clean tech.

“The country that dominated the first industrial revolution is now positioning itself to capitalise on the second.”

He added: “Ratifying the Paris Agreement is also a recognition by the first country to industrialise that it has a duty to help and protect the very poorest and most vulnerable people in the world suffering the effects of climate change.

“We expect the UK to know back up this ratification with concrete actions that will rapidly cut its emissions in all sectors.

“Ratifying the Paris Agreement is a moral act by a country that understands it’s responsibilities in a globally interconnected world.”


Notes to Editors:

1. In September Christian Aid announced that 3,500 churches had ditched fossil fuels and signed up for renewable electricity.  Many of these have come through the Big Church Switch scheme supported by the Church of England.  For more information visit www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk.

2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

3. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf) explains how we set about this task.

4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org