Live updates

Climate change agreement praised by Energy Secretary

Credit: PA wire

An 11th-hour compromise at climate change talks in Peru has been hailed as an important move towards a global deal by Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

Mr Davey hailed it as "an agreement that unites all nations, unlocking the door to the world's first global climate deal in Paris next year."

He went on:

The talks were tough but the Lima Call for Climate Action shows a will and commitment to respond to the public demand to tackle climate change.

I am proud the UK has been leading the way - by our laws on low carbon energy and climate, by successfully championing ambitious targets to cut emissions in Europe and with our central role here in Lima.

The next 12 months will be critical and the UK's leadership will be needed more than ever in the difficult negotiations ahead - but we have to succeed because the threat to our children's future is so serious.

– Ed Davey


United Nations members agree climate deal in Lima

United Nations members have agreed on a deal to tackle climate change at a summit in the Peruvian capital Lima.

Nations have agreed the building blocks of a deal to tackle climate change. Credit: Reuters

The deal asks countries to submit national plans on how they will deal global warming early next year ahead of a crucial summit in Paris.

Developing countries, including China and India, had expressed concern at earlier drafts that they claimed could impose too heavy a burden on emerging economies.

But agreement was finally reached with the final draft saying countries have "common but differentiated responsibilities" to deal with global warming.

"As a text it's not perfect, but it includes the positions of the parties," Peru's environment minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said.

Air pollution 'killing as many people as smoking'

Air pollution in the UK could be killing as many people as smoking does - MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee said.

Calling for the government to act to protect young and vulnerable people from the impact of air pollution by ensuring schools and hospitals are not build near main roads or motorways, MPs said public health must be prioritised over economic growth and had a number of recommendations.

  • Air quality obligations should be included in new road building plans
  • Legal loopholes that allow mechanics to remove engine filters from HGVs should be closed
  • New measures to encourage drivers to move away from diesel should be examined
  • A diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers switch to cleaner vehicles should be considered
  • An independent inquiry should be established to look at what else is needed
  • EU legislation on emission standards needs back up by testing

MP: Air pollution in the UK is a public health crisis

Current levels of air pollution across cities in the UK are at "crisis levels" and represent a "public health crisis" that the government must act on, Joan Walley, chair of the Environment Audit Committee has said.

Launching a scathing report that details the illegal levels of air pollution afflicting citizens in cities all over the country, she called for urgent action to stop the 60,000 deaths per year associated with poor air quality.


FoE: Leaked documents show £1/2 bn flood shortfall

Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has said leaked documents from regional flood and coastal committees showed a half a billion pound shortfall in the government's flood budget over the next six years.

Whatever happened to 'money no object'? These flood defence plans simply don't hold water and are wholly inadequate to keep pace with rising flood risk.

Failing to tackle climate change comes with a heavy cost, and it's not right that the Government makes flood-risk households pay the price for its failure to do so.

– Climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole
Flooded fields near Muchelney in Somerset last month. Credit: PA

The group said extra funding for projects needed to be found from other sources, while also pointing to a recent National Audit Office report showing a 6% cut in funds for maintaining existing flood defences during this parliament.

Load more updates