COP26: $100bn aid for poorer countries is key to climate change says Ed Miliband

The key to success at Cop26 is delivering on the 100 billion US dollars (£72 billion) a year promised until 2025 for poorer countries to develop cleanly and cope with the impacts of climate change, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband has said.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he insisted the only way to put pressure on the biggest emitters is by forging an alliance of developing and developed countries.

He explained: “I was part of that promise at Copenhagen along with Gordon Brown. It is shameful this 100 billion dollars has not yet been delivered.

“Now this matters morally but it also matters for this summit for the following reason, which is we can only put pressure on the biggest emitters if we have an alliance of developing and vulnerable countries like the Marshall Islands, and developed countries that want action, that’s the pincer movement we need and that’s why us cutting overseas aid frankly is reprehensible.

Aid cash call: Ed Miliband

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“Part of this summit is about delivering on that 100 billion, on vaccinating the world because it’s shameful that in the developing world only 1% of people are vaccinated, and then to put pressure on the biggest emitters.”

Mr Miliband also refused to say whether Labour would nationalise energy companies.

He said: “I think there’s two options in relation to the energy companies that are in trouble.

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“One is to get their customers taken on by other companies, which is what’s been happening.

“Secondly, as a last resort, to say we shall have a special administration regime where it’s held in the public sector. I think we look at both of those.”

When told this would not be nationalisation, the MP for Doncaster North said: “It would be actually in the short term, it would be in the short term and then they go back into the marketplace.”

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COP26: Call for rich countries to 'pay up' billions in climate aid as UN summit ...

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Also speaking ahead of the climate talks in Glasgow, shadow trade secretary Emily Thornberry said not enough work was put into securing climate agreements before Cop26.

On the issue of leaders from China and Russia not being in Glasgow in person, she told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “My concern, if I’m being really honest and brutal about this, is that quite often, before these summits happen, a great deal of hard work has been done and countries have got quite a long way to the agreement before you get the final agreement at the meeting itself.

“My concern is that there is still so much work to be done at Glasgow that a particular leader turning up or not is not by itself going to make a difference.”

Asked what a Labour administration would have done differently, Ms Thornberry said her party would have made sure it had conducted “really serious negotiations for a much longer period than this Government has done”.

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She added: “I know that Alok Sharma has done his best but, frankly, it is a failure of our ability to bring countries together that we haven’t got more agreement before now.”

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