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This is a decisive step forward and we need to focus all our thoughts on the urgency of the climate crisis. How we respond to this crisis will determine our generation, so it is right that the government has set courageous and ambitious goals. We have only one chance to remedy this situation, and companies want to work with the government in the run-up to COP26 to be a positive part of the solution and help us rebuild sustainably. As a major and growing investor in the UK, Equinor welcomes this greater climate ambition, which will encourage more investment and job creation in a low-carbon economy in the UK. Equinor aims to be a net zero-company by 2050 and is working with the UK government and society to find solutions for a low-carbon future. Equinor is currently active in technological development projects, offshore wind and hydrogen capture and carbon capture. We look forward to exciting future announcements. So far, the European Union is at the forefront of investment in the green recovery. Around 30% of the EU-wide 750 billion euro ($891 billion) stimulus package and the 2021-2027 budget of 1.1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) will be spent on climate-friendly investments.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) intends to align its strategy with the Paris Agreement`s 1.5-C target by the end of 2020 and plans to end financing oil, gas and coal projects by the end of 2021, a decisive step for multilateral development banks. In addition, the Bank`s new « climate roadmap » promises to invest 1 trillion euros ($1,200 billion) in climate and other green measures by 2030. The UK`s new emissions target is one of the highest in the world and reflects the urgency and scale of the challenge facing our planet. I hope that other countries will join us in raising the bar at next week`s UN climate change summit and on the eve of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow next year. The Philippines has not yet set a long-term goal, but says it has committed to presenting a new national climate plan, with improved targets. Following continued political pressure from the activist group Extinction Rebellion, the British government has agreed to the creation of a « citizens` assembly » on climate change in 2019. This group of 110 citizens who met over four weekends in early 2020 to learn about climate change and how the UK can do it and to discuss how to meet the UK`s 2050 emissions target. The Assembly`s final report is expected to be available in September 2020 and to be used by six selected Committees of the House of Commons to serve as the basis for detailed work on the implementation of the Assembly`s recommendations.

An interim letter revealed that 79% of Assembly members had decided or agreed that the government`s economic recovery would help achieve the net zero target by 2050. Others focus on adapting to a changing climate. In the northern Indian city of Gorakhpur, city officials are encouraging a series of tactics – from reducing monoculture to protecting water – to reduce flooding and increase resilience as the monsoon becomes stronger and unpredictable.

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