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Johnson hails ‘landmark’ Cop26 agreement to end deforestation by 2030

“More than 100 world leaders, including those of Brazil and Russia, have vowed to end deforestation in their countries by 2030. The agreement was struck at the Cop26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow and signed by nations which together have more than 85 per cent of the world’s forests. Such is the scale of deforestation that an area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute. Boris Johnson, who has championed action on trees as one of his four Cop26 priorities alongside “cars, coal and cash”, called the deal a “landmark agreement”. The support of Brazil was especially noteworthy given that Jair Bolsonaro, its president, has been criticised in the past for not doing enough to stop Amazon deforestation.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister warns world leaders climate crisis is like a James Bond movie – The Sun
  • India puts off net zero to 2070 – The Times

Comment:

  • If Cop26 fails, our future is hot and angry – William Hague, The Times
  • Patriotic, pro-market green agenda deserves Tory support – Tim Stanley, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: What will failure at COP26 mean and how much will it matter?

Shoppers should boycott companies who fail to go green, says minister

“Shoppers should be prepared to boycott firms who fail to go green, a minister has said. In an unusual swipe at small businesses still reeling from the shock of the pandemic, Anne Marie Trevelyan urged Brits to vote with their wallets if firms are big polluters. The newly appointed cabinet minister told Sun readers to use their spending power to make a more environmentally-friendly world for their kids and grandkids to grow up in. In an interview on the eve of the PM’s landmark COP26 eco summit in Glasgow, she told them they should punish companies killing the planet, and Britain is leading the world towards a greener future. Ms Trevelyan also piled pressure on nations dependent on Chinese investment to pressure it into speeding up being more environmentally-friendly.” – The Sun

  • Johnson signals opposition to proposed Cumbria colliery – FT
  • Ministers could face legal challenge over North Sea oil exploration – The Guardian

>Yesterday:

Brexit fishing row in ‘solutions mode’ after Macron suspends sanctions

“A new agreement is expected to resolve the bitter UK-French spat over fishing, after Emmanuel Macron extended the deadline for sanctions and Britain signalled it was in “solutions mode”. The French president declared late on Monday night that he was pausing his threat of retaliatory measures including trade disruptions and port bans so that discussions with the EU and Britain could continue on Tuesday. His announcement came just four hours before his initial cut-off for action to resolve the row, which is about fishing licences for French boats in British waters. It marked a climbdown after the Elysee had confirmed his midnight deadline earlier on Monday. A senior UK Government source welcomed the move, saying Britain was “glad that France has stepped back”, adding: “We’ve stuck to our position and were ready to respond if they had brought forward these measures.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Paris delays tough new checks at ports after UK legal threat – The Times
  • Britain ‘was braced for immediate measures’ – The Guardian
  • EU holds last-ditch talks to resolve dispute – FT

Comment:

>Yesterday: John Redwood’s column: We’re free of EU membership and can motor to our own destiny. But still drive nervously in L-plates. Why?

EU riding roughshod over Northern Ireland trade, says Brexit minister

“Relations between the EU and the UK risk further deterioration after the Brexit minister accused Brussels of behaving “without regard to the huge political, economic and identity sensitivities” in Northern Ireland. David Frost said the bloc had “destroyed cross-community consent” with an “overly strict” enforcement of the arrangements hammered out in the withdrawal agreement of January 2020. His comments, in a foreword to a new paper for the Policy Exchange thinktank, were published days after a second week of talks between both sides ended in deadlock. He also articulated, in the plainest terms yet, a view held in Downing Street that the protocol’s terms were foisted upon Britain owing to the weakness of Theresa May in the first phase of negotiations in 2017.” – The Guardian

  • Frost’s ‘huge gamble’ in high-stakes talks – Daily Express

>Yesterday: David Frost in Comment: The Northern Ireland Protocol is damaging the peace was designed to protect. And so must be revised.

Tory MPs ‘threaten mutiny’ to stop sleaze watchdog kicking Paterson out of Parliament

“Tories are threatening mutiny to stop the sleaze watchdog kicking MP Owen Paterson out of Parliament for 30 days. Allies of the ex-Cabinet minister are fighting for his career after standards czar Kathryn Stone found he inappropriately lobbied for two companies. She ordered him to be barred from the Commons for 30 sitting days, which could trigger a by-election in his North Shropshire seat. In the latest twist, his allies are drumming up support among Tory MPs to vote down the watchdog’s findings in the Commons on Wednesday. One Cabinet minister said: “Ms Stone has lost the confidence of MPs. Many think it is unfair.” Allies of Mr Paterson are anxiously waiting to hear if No 10 will give the nod to Tory MPs to vote down the report.” – The Sun

  • Hoyle warns against rebellion in lobbying row – The Times
  • Ministers’ conduct needs to be properly policed, review says – The Guardian

More:

  • Conservative Party readmits MP who sexually harassed staff member – The Guardian

>Today: Audio: The Moggcast: On the Paterson case, Rees-Mogg says that “it would normally appear to be fair for those witnesses to be heard”.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Paterson. A contestable verdict, an unfair sentence – and skewed punishment. MPs should heed his appeal.

Sunak forced to defend Budget deficit reduction plans

“Rishi Sunak was forced to defend his Budget plans today as the independent economic watchdog warned the Chancellor he faced a ‘wild ride’ trying to reduce the UK’s huge deficit. Senior figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned that the ‘wiggle room’ – the spare money – Mr Sunak has available to cut the deficit in the next three years and simultaneously reduce national debt was the second-smallest level on record. In a two-hour grilling by MPs on the details of the Budget, OBR chairman Richard Hughes suggested the Treasury may struggle to hit its new deficit targets, especially if interest rates rise, and would be in for a ‘wild ride’. They also told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee they expect inflation to fall in between six months and a year but said unemployment could keep it higher.” – Daily Mail

  • Chancellor may struggle to meet his fiscal rules, says OBR – FT

>Today: Dr Gerard Lyons’s column: Inflation, interest rates – and the case for a shake-up at the Bank of England. It needs more diversity of thought.

>Yesterday: Bim Afolami MP in Comment: After the Budget, we won’t deliver levelling up without putting economic growth first

Halt spread of smart motorways, say MPs

“No more smart motorways should be created until their safety can be ensured, a parliamentary report has said. The transport select committee said that the government’s decision in March last year to make all future smart motorways “all-lane-running”, with the hard shoulder permanently removed, was premature and that safety risks should have been addressed before their launch. MPs found that more than half of drivers are unclear about what they should do if they break down in a “live lane” and said communications of the “radical change to motorway design” had been woeful… Smart motorways are intended to boost capacity by removing the permanent hard shoulder to create an extra lane.” – The Times

  • Rail may have to be subsidised ‘in perpetuity’ – The Times

School days ‘could be extended’

“The new education secretary has pledged to look at lengthening the school day. Nadhim Zahawi today urged all schools to ensure they move to at least the average school day length of 6.5 hours, and told MPs there are some ‘excellent examples’ that he will examine where longer hours have proved effective. It has been suggested an extension to the school day will help children prosper after the coronavirus pandemic and catch-up lost learning. His comments came after Conservative MP Robert Halfon – who chairs the Education Select Committee – asked if the Secretary of State will continue to make the case for a longer school day, citing statistics that appear to show a longer day improves academic success… Meanwhile, the education minister, Michelle Donelan, appealed for university lecturers to ‘reconsider taking strike action’ amid a dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions.” – Daily Mail

>Today: Peter Stanford in Comment: Prison doesn’t work. But prison education does. For a fraction of the building budget, we could cut reoffending rates.

Creasy launches campaign to get more mothers into politics

“Labour’s Stella Creasy is launching a project to fund mothers who want to get involved in politics, after describing her “heartbreak” at the way the party has responded to her calls for proper maternity cover for MPs. Creasy, who gave birth to her second child four weeks ago, said many in the Labour movement were frustrated at the way women of childbearing age are treated in politics. She is launching a campaign called VoteMama UK to help support parents in politics, modelled on the VoteMama movement in the US. The MP for Walthamstow in London has been engaged in a battle with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to get a locum paid near to her own salary rate to cover her constituency casework. The law prevents a locum from being able to cover the parliamentary work of MPs on parental leave.” – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Fish row with France could be just the start – Henry Hill, CapX
  • The humiliation of the British Army – Aris Roussinos, UnHerd
  • Biden is asleep at the wheel – Dominic Gren, The Spectator
  • Happily ever EFTA? – Pieter Cleppe, The Critic