The following letter from 29 of the UK's leading academics was submitted to The Times' Letters page and published on 16 December 2015. The authors' original headline is included below.

Ambitious response needed on climate front

Sir,

The agreement reached in Paris shows there is now impressive global ambition to tackle climate change – with tough challenges ahead (Britain facing steeper emissions cuts; Dec 14). Further policy action is urgently required to transform ambition into reality. Unfortunately, recent UK government decisions are in the wrong direction. Indeed, the UK risks jeopardising its own statutory targets under the Climate Change Act, by de-incentivising onshore wind, solar power, and home energy efficiency; by the proposed sell-off of the Green Investment Bank; and by cancelling support for carbon capture and storage.

The UK now needs to increase, not reduce, its investment in carbon capture, renewable energy and energy efficiency, whilst also following through its commitment to stronger carbon pricing. Such transformative actions – that will both grow our economy and protect our environment – need to be crystal clear to business, investors and citizens. Such actions would also enable the UK to retain its place in the coalition of high ambition that has emerged from the COP21 process.

Dr Phillip Williamson, University of East Anglia
Professor Myles Allen, University of Oxford
Professor David Beerling, FRS University of Sheffield
Jeremy Blackford, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Professor William Collins, University of Reading
Professor Peter Cox, University of Exeter
Professor Piers Forster, University of Leeds
Professor Michael Grubb, University College London
Professor Joanna Haigh CBE FRS, Imperial College
Professor Stuart Haszeldine OBE FRSE, University of Edinburgh
Professor Gabriele Hegerl FRSE, University of Edinburgh
Tim Kruger, University of Oxford
Professor Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia
Professor Tim Lenton, University of Exeter
Professor Simon Lewis, University College London
Professor Peter Liss CBE FRS, University of East Anglia
Professor Georgina Mace CBE FRS, University College London
Professor Paul Pearson, Cardiff University
Professor Chris Rapley CBE, University College London
Professor David Reay, University of Edinburgh
Professor Daniela Schmidt, University of Bristol
Professor John Shepherd CBE FRS, University of Southampton
Professor Martin Siegert FRSE, Imperial College
Professor Peter Smith FRSE, University of Aberdeen
Dr Carol Turley, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Dr Naomi Vaughan, University of East Anglia
Dr Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia
Dr Matthew Watson, University of Bristol
Professor Andrew Watson FRS, University of Exeter

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