Sustainable Development Goals Summit Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale

Main Page: Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Labour - Life peer)

Sustainable Development Goals Summit

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Excerpts
Thursday 21st September 2023

(9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate
Asked by
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
- Hansard - -

To ask His Majesty’s Government what action they intend to take following the Sustainable Development Goals Summit 2023 of the United Nations General Assembly.

Lord Mott Portrait Lord Mott (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, speaking at the UN SDG summit on Tuesday, the Deputy Prime Minister affirmed on the global stage the UK’s strong commitment to the sustainable development goals and the actions needed to deliver them by 2030. The UK’s forthcoming international development White Paper will set out our vision for global development that delivers on the sustainable development goals of poverty reduction, economic growth and tackling climate change. It will build on our commitments outlined in the international development strategy and integrated review refresh.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I thank the Minister for that Answer. In 2005, when the millennium development goals were off-track and falling behind, then Prime Minister Tony Blair convened the G8 at Gleneagles in order to get the millennium development goals back on track and to ensure that the wider global community committed to action to deliver them. In 2015, then Prime Minister David Cameron chaired the group that wrote and set up the sustainable development goals and put them to the General Assembly for approval. In 2023, Prime Minister Sunak has decided not even to attend, and I think that has shamed the United Kingdom globally at an important time, half way towards 2030. However, the UK agreed the declaration at the assembly on Tuesday which called for accelerated action on climate change. Why did the Prime Minister take his foot off the accelerator yesterday and put his foot on the brake?

Lord Mott Portrait Lord Mott (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the noble Lord for that question and pay tribute to him for his work as co-chair of the APPG on the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development. It is not uncommon for Prime Ministers not always to attend this particular summit. In the last 20 years there have been eight separate occasions when the British Prime Minister has not attended. We sent a high-level delegation, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, and a number of members of the Government, particularly from the FCDO. On the noble Lord’s point about climate change, since 2011, UK international climate finance investments have helped 95 million people to cope with the effects of climate change, provided 58 million people with improved access to clean energy, reduced or avoided 60 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and leveraged £5.2 billion of private finance.