Category Archives: News

UK-India Energy For Growth Dialogue

A discussion about the shared commitment to clean and green supplies of energy

Greg Clark and Minister Singh

Greg Clark and Minister Singh

The second UK-India Energy for Growth Dialogue took place in London on 13 September 2018, hosted by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. The Dialogue was part of a wider visit made by Indian Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh.

The Energy for Growth Dialogue focused on the shared commitments of both Prime Ministers to clean and green supplies of energy. Both countries are also committed to reducing the cost of developing and deploying clean energy projects.

Minister Singh and Secretary of State Clark celebrated progress on collaboration between both countries since the first Dialogue in 2017, particularly on power sector reform and the development of renewable energy.

The ministers endorsed a forward action plan for collaboration, and agreed to develop a proposal for a joint programme on Clean Energy for Growth to support the rapid and sustainable growth of India’s energy sector. In addition to key actions to accelerate energy efficiency, this programme may include elements on renewable energy, power sector reform and elements of green finance.

They discussed the recent launch of the joint UK-India Centre for Energy Regulation, as well as India’s leadership of the International Solar Alliance.

Minister Singh’s visit was set against successful international summits held this week in India on Future Mobility and in the UK on Zero Emission Vehicles, demonstrating continued global leadership by both countries to make transport cleaner and greener. The Minister engaged with industry in business roundtables and visited an offshore wind farm, to see first-hand the steps that the UK has taken to install the largest operational offshore wind capacity in the world.

£3m Support Scheme Launched To Reduce Air Pollution From Farming

A new team of experts officially start today, backed with £3 million of funding to help farmers reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture

Ammonia Emissions

Ammonia Emissions

A scheme, backed with £3m of funding, to help farmers reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture has been officially launched today (18 September, 2018).

The Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership between Defra, the Environment Agency and Natural England will support farmers to take action to reduce harmful ammonia emissions.

Farming is responsible for 88 percent of all UK emissions of ammonia gas which can travel long distances, be damaging to the environment, and combine with other pollutants to form particulates, which are harmful to human health.

The money will fund a team of specialists who will work with farmers and landowners to implement the measures to reduce their ammonia set out in the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) for Reducing Ammonia Emissions.

The team will provide training events, tailored advice, individual farm visits and support with grant applications, all funded by the programme.

Bob Middleton, Programme Manager, Catchment Sensitive Farming said:

As custodians of the land, farmers have an important role to play in protecting the environment. But reducing ammonia emissions can also bring real business benefits.

The UK loses £138m of nitrogen per year from ammonia emissions, so by taking action to reduce them, farmers can get more value from their manure and fertiliser and save money.

This new initiative adds to the existing, popular programme of advice to improve water quality and prevent flooding from farmed land and a new guidance video which sets out simple steps all farmers can take to reduce ammonia emissions, such as the way they handle livestock feed, and manure and fertiliser spreading.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

There is growing evidence that ammonia emissions can have significant impacts to parts of our environment so we want to help farmers play their part in reducing them.

The specialist team of advisers leading this project can advise farmers on steps they can take, such as improved slurry handling facilities, and grants are available where investment is required.

Reducing emissions from farming is a key element of the government’s ambitious new Clean Air Strategy, which has been welcomed by the World Health Organization.

The announcement comes less than a week after the introduction of the government’s landmark Agriculture Bill which sets out ambitious proposals to protect and enhance our environment.

To replace the Common Agricultural Policy, a new system will reward farmers for “public goods”, which includes taking action to improve air and water quality and soil health.

Secretary Of State Matt Hancock Visits China To Promote Innovative Digital Health Solutions To Shared Challenges

The UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock is travelling to China on his first official overseas visit, where he will stop by Beijing and Tianjin, to highlight the importance of healthcare collaboration to the ‘Golden Era’ of bilateral relations

The Secretary of State co-hosted the UK-China Health Dialogue with China’s Health Minister Ma Xiaowei

The Secretary of State co-hosted the UK-China Health Dialogue with China’s Health Minister Ma Xiaowei

In Beijing, the Secretary of State co-hosted the UK-China Health Dialogue with China’s Health Minister Ma Xiaowei. The two Ministers will drive forward collaboration in keeping people healthy for longer, early identification of serious illness through strengthening primary care.

The Ministers also discussed the need for good, well trained and dedicated health professionals in order to sustain world-leading health systems. The Health Secretary also discussed patient access to medicine and how to get the most cost-effective and clinically- effective therapies to patients quickly when he met with Minister Hu Jinglin of the National Healthcare Security Administration.

Additionally, the Ministers highlighted the UK and China’s shared interest in addressing global health issues such as pandemics and anti-microbial resistance (AMR). In early 2018, the UK and China committed two AMR funds to foster collaborative academic and industrial research to develop better clinical practice and products to tackle the growing microbial resistance to anti-biotics and the risk that poses globally.

The UK has one of the strongest and most productive health and life sciences industries in the world. While in China, the Secretary of State will also lead a UK business delegation to demonstrate UK expertise and innovations in life sciences, med-tech and digital health. In Tianjin, the Secretary of State will demonstrate UK leadership in the use of technology and data innovation in healthcare to a global audience while he co-chairs the World Economic Forum Meeting of New Champions.

Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State of Health and Social Care said:

I want the UK to have the most advanced healthcare system in the world, and this continued dialogue and co-operation with China will bring us one step closer to achieving that aim.

As global leaders, the UK and China must work closely together to tackle key emerging issues in healthcare like how we can harness the power of technology to help patients live longer, healthier and happier lives, the issues of an aging population, and the increasing resistance to antibiotics – there is much we can learn from each other to improve care for patients.

Zero Emission Vehicle Summit

Summit aims to unlock huge economic opportunities and create a cleaner future

Zero Emission Vehicle Summit

Zero Emission Vehicle Summit

The UK held the world’s first Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Summit last week (11 to 12 September 2018), bringing together representatives from across the globe to support and collaborate on a zero emission future for transport around the world.

Ministers, officials and business leaders from over 40 countries descended on Birmingham and Bedford for the two-day event, which sought to accelerate investment in both zero emission technology and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, told delegates at day one of the conference in Birmingham that she wants to see Britain “leading from the front and working with industries and countries around the world to spearhead change”.

And to help support that aim, the government has pledged £106 million for research and development in zero emission vehicles, new batteries and low carbon technology.

This will be bolstered by over £500 million worth of investment, creating over 1,000 jobs across the UK.

A total of 55 people spoke at the summit, including keynotes from companies such as Nissan, who emphasised the need to focus not only on the car but on the energy network too.

Commitments made as part of the landmark summit include:

  • signatories from 13 governments committing to a zero emission future for transport, through action including consumer incentives, international collaboration, integration of zero emission infrastructure into town planning and support for research and development
  • the first meeting of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce – a group convening government with the energy and automotive industries – to plan for future electric vehicle uptake and ensure the energy system can meet future demand in an efficient and sustainable way
  • Clean Van Commitment from 16 of the UK’s largest van fleet operators to have nearly 2,400 ZEV vans by 2020 and go completely zero emission in cities by 2028
  • a new £1 million fund from summit sponsors, Lex Autolease, to provide £1,000 off the first 1,000 pure electric vehicle orders from January 2019
  • trials of new LEVC vans with London Fire Brigade and the Met Police
  • plans for a new Degree Apprenticeship Centre at the University of Warwick which will focus on the high value manufacturing sector, backed by £10 million of government funding and with space for 1,000 students

Jesse Norman, Roads Minister said:

No one nation can tackle the effects of climate change alone. But as a community of nations, taking global action, we can not only have a bigger impact but unlock huge shared economic opportunities.

That’s why the UK hosted the world’s first Zero Emission Summit. We are working to create a platform for international co-operation and knowledge sharing on emissions issues, gathering together signatories from around the world to agree the Birmingham Declaration and, we hope, helping to create a cleaner, greener legacy for future generations.

Tim Porter, Managing Director of Lex Autolease, the vehicle leasing arm of Lloyds Banking Group, commented:

As the global automotive industry goes through this transformative period, the leasing industry has a huge role to play. We have been working with customers for a number of years to help them upgrade to low emission vehicles – where it’s the right move for them as individual drivers or fleets.

One of the key benefits of leasing an electric vehicle is that customers avoid any of the potential risk associated with its future resale value. With battery technology and range continuing to improve, electric vehicles are fast becoming suitable for mainstream motorists. With this in mind, we’re pleased to have announced our new £1 million fund to encourage wider take up of zero emission technology.

The summit follows the Prime Minister’s ambition set out earlier this year to put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles, and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. The government’s Road to Zero Strategy published in July set out a clear pathway to zero emissions, to give clarity and certainty to both industry and motorists.

The work is all part of the government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, outlined in its modern Industrial Strategy, aiming to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make travel safer, improve accessibility, and present enormous economic opportunities for the UK.

The summit was the next step in the mission to put the UK at the forefront of zero-emission technology saw industry stepping up to the challenge alongside the government.

Human Rights Council 39: Interactive Dialogue With The Fact Finding Mission On Burma

This UK statement was delivered at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council during the interactive dialogue with the fact finding mission on Burma

Flags and Palais

Flags and Palais

The United Kingdom thanks the UN Fact Finding Mission for their report and the painstaking and difficult work completed in order to document these horrific events.

The report by the Fact Finding Mission has reaffirmed the appalling human rights violations that so many in Burma have suffered. The report is a damning verdict on the culpability of the Tatmadaw for ethnic cleansing and possible crimes against humanity in Rakhine. There cannot be impunity for such acts.

While our focus is so often on Rakhine we should not forget the situation in other parts of the country. The Fact Finding Mission confirmed that crimes committed in Kachin and Shan also constitute human rights violations.

The UK believes that the gravity of the report warrants the attention of the international community, both here in the Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council. We will discuss with other Security Council members options for bringing the report before the Security Council in due course.

The UK regrets that the Burmese government refused to cooperate with the Fact Finding Mission. As the international community considers its response to this report we should remember the importance of domestic acceptance and accountability. A domestic process is always the preferred route to accountability. But where a domestic process cannot demonstrate impartiality or credibility we must look to international options for achieving justice.

Mr President,

In line with the report’s recommendations, how can we best ensure that any accountability process is ‘transformative, victim-centred, comprehensive and inclusive’?

Thank you.

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