A global deal on combating climate change has been agreed upon by 195 countries in Paris following two weeks of talks.
The ‘Paris Agreement’ is touted as the world's first comprehensive climate accord, the core of which is legally binding and commits all countries to take action to address global warming.
It includes a target to keep temperature rises below 2°C and strives to curb increases to 1.5°C. A five-year review system will also be implemented to increase ambition on cutting emissions to meet the temperature goals.
The emission pledges will differentiate between countries and finance will be provided to developing nations to deal with rising temperatures.
The final draft of the agreement received a largely positive response from environmental and aid campaigners, experts and analysts, although concerns linger on that it does not go far enough to tackle climate change.
With the deal completed, the UK Government has been urged to reintroduce policies to support renewables, energy efficiency and clean technology following a number of cuts to subsidies over the summer.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said: "I appreciate we've made changes, but I've now set out very clearly the energy plan for the UK for the future."
She said it involved more renewables, pointing to support for offshore wind. Rudd denied that the government had made ‘a mistake’ when it pulled £1bn in funding to develop carbon capture technology to capture emissions from power stations and store them permanently underground.
"There are some CCS [carbon capture and storage] plants that are going forward at the moment, they are still expensive, I think for the UK we were having a tight spending commitment so it was the right thing to do there," she said.
Drax power company actually pulled out of its ‘White Rose’ carbon capture scheme in September, prior to the government’s £1bn funding withdrawal. Drax blamed the move on the aforementioned changes to green energy policies.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was positive about the Paris Agreement, describing it as ‘historic’ in its ambition to take action against the threat of global warming.
"The challenge now is to turn the Paris agreement's fine words into the strong action the planet and its people need," he said.
Corbyn also accused Prime Minister David Cameron of failing to show the leadership that the agreement demanded.
Out of the 195 countries included in the agreement, 190 have already submitted plans for the action they will take against climate change.
However, Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of The Confederation of British Industry, expressed some concern about how the agreement will impact businesses.
"The Paris deal heralds an exciting opportunity for business. While the UK is making its voice heard at global talks, more needs to be done at home,” she said.
“The Government must provide a stable environment that enables investment in cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy generation, including renewable technologies and new gas plants.
“The UK needs a level playing field for carbon costs, so that our energy intensive industries can compete effectively in a global, low carbon market place.”