June 29, 2016 / 9:21 AM / 3 years ago

UK government says committed to fighting climate change despite Brexit

Britain's Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government remains committed to fighting climate change despite last week’s vote to leave the European Union, the country’s energy and climate minister said on Wednesday.

“While I think the UK’s role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away,” Amber Rudd told a Business and Climate Summit in London.

“Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. It remains one of the most serious long-term risks to our economic and national security,” she said.

She said annual support for renewable electricity generation is expected to double during this parliament to more than 10 billion pounds.

“We will work closely to reassure people ... we need to be clear that Britain is open for business and it is a good place to invest,” she said.

Britain has a legally binding target to cut emissions by 80 percent on 1990 levels by 2050. To meet this, the government sets five-yearly carbon budgets.

The fifth carbon budget (2028-2032), was set out by advisory body the Committee on Climate Change last year and calls for a 57 percent cut in emissions on 1990 levels by 2030.

Rudd said the government would on Thursday announce its decision on whether to accept the CCC’s advice.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale, editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans

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