Rishi Sunak unveils £11bn deal for world’s largest offshore wind farm
The Prime Minister said the massive green energy site shows the UK is “leading the charge” in tackling global warming.
He said the Dogger Bank windfarm will be built thanks to a deal between the UAE-state owned Masdar and German-based renewable energy firm RWE.
Speaking at a press conference at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, Mr Sunak said: “I’m pleased to announce a new deal between Masdar and RWE which includes a commitment to jointly invest up to £11 billion into the UK’s new wind farm at Dogger Bank, which will be the biggest in the world.”
“This is a huge boost for UK renewables, creating more jobs, helping to power three million homes and increasing our energy security.”
The Prime Minister also defended the UK’s record on tackling climate change.
He has faced criticism for slowing the pace at which petrol and diesel cars are phased out and the switch away from fossil fuel household boilers.
But he hit back, saying: “We’re absolutely committed to our net zero targets.
“We’ve already decarbonised faster than any other major economy. Our emissions are down 48 per cent since 1990, compared to limited cuts from others and a 300 per cent increase from China.”
He confirmed a £1.6 billion commitment for renewable energy, “green innovation” and forests “because we can’t tackle climate change without nature”.
And he urged major polluting countries to follow the UK’s lead in slashing emissions.
“The world needs to do more to tackle climate change.”
“We’ve made real progress, including at the Glasgow summit. But the climate science and mounting evidence of climate-related disasters show that we’re not moving quickly or effectively enough.”
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“So I’m calling on major emitters to dramatically accelerate delivery on what they’ve already promised. Everyone can do more.”
“And let’s be very clear. The UK is leading the charge.”
The Prime Minister insisted he was taking a pragmatic approach to spending taxpayers’ money on tackling climate change.
Asked how he could afford his commitments, Rishi Sunak said: “We can be pragmatic about our approach to helping everyone and still be a world leader, but also make sure we prioritise the needs of people at home.”
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“That’s the balance that I’ve struck. That’s what I will do as Prime Minister and again, both the aid decision and the net zero decision, I think show that attitude, making it actually real for people at home.”
Mr Sunak used his whistle-stop trip to the United Arab Emirates to call for an “era of action” to help save the planet from the ravages of rising temperatures.
He told other nations that they must keep on track in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
It comes as scientists say extreme weather in 2023 – the hottest in recorded human history – has left “a trail of devastation and despair”.
Sir Keir Starmer, who was also attending the climate summit, hit out at the PM, saying he is “retreating” on his green commitments.
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