UK politicians welcome Paris agreement

British political leaders from all sides have welcomed the agreement reached by almost 200 countries to tackle climate change in Paris.

The agreement reached at the COP21 UN conference sets out a clear long-term goal for the 195 countries that signed the agreement of net zero emissions by the end of the century.

Progress against this goal will be independently assessed in 2018 and every five years thereafter.

Countries will also be legally obliged to make new post-2030 commitments to reduce emissions every five years, from 2025 onwards. 

For the first time, all countries will be held accountable by independent review for acting according to their pledges.

The agreement also includes a commitment to keep global temperature increase "well below" 2C and to move towards efforts to limit it to 1.5C.

“In striking this deal, the nations of the world have shown what unity, ambition and perseverance can do,” said British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

 "Britain is already leading the way in work to cut emissions and help less developed countries cut theirs - and this global deal now means that the whole world has signed to play its part in halting climate change. It's a moment to remember and a huge step forward in helping to secure the future of our planet."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the agreement was “historic in its ambition to take action against the worldwide threat of global warming”.

“It represents a victory for the international movement for climate change action and global justice,” added Mr Corbyn.

“David Cameron must now take his cue from Paris, reverse his Government’s cuts to clean energy and put real investment in the green jobs of the future.”

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron said it was a “landmark agreement”, but added: "The Government must now urgently rethink its cuts to renewable energy which are undermining the achievements of Ed Davey and Liberal Democrats in the Coalition government in promoting green energy.

"It is not good enough to go to Paris and sign up to ambitious targets whilst scrapping the schemes that will help tackle climate change back in the UK. "

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues