Cop27 failed on keeping global heating to just 1.5C, Ed Miliband says – as it happened | Politics

Cop27 failed on keeping global heating to just 1.5C, Ed Miliband says

Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, told MPs that the Cop27 failed on the key issue of keeping global heating to just 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. In his contribution to the urgent question, he said:

We should be clear, on the crucial issue of 1.5 degrees, this summit failed.

We already see the disastrous effects of one degree of warming. And, rather than tackle this crisis, too many leaders are fiddling while the world burns. And, as a result, we are currently on track according to the UN for a catastrophic 2.8 degrees of warming.

We should tell the truth. Unless we do something different and fast, we will leave a terrible legacy. With this backdrop, no country can be patting itself on the back. And as a country that considers itself a climate leader, we have a responsibility and opportunity to set the pace in the year ahead and our moral authority in the negotiations depends on it.

Miliband also criticised the UK government for “indulging in a dash for new fossil fuel licences which won’t even make a difference to bills”.

Key events

Afternoon summary

  • Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, has said Cop27 failed on the key issue of keeping global heating to just 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. (See 4.23pm.) He was speaking in the Commons during an urgent question where he also said UK leadership on the issue was at risk. He also said the UK was failing to show leadership on the climate crisis. He said:

The government at home is indulging in a dash for new fossil fuel licences which won’t even make a difference to bills and it refuses to rule out a new coal mine in Cumbria.

Can the minister say, what kind of leadership is it, if we tell others not to have new fossil fuel exploration, but we say it’s okay for us to do it here at home … I urge the government to show consistent leadership, to lower bills, create jobs and act before it’s too late.

Nusrat Ghani, the industry minister who was responding, said at the summit the prime minister pledged to “speed up the transition to renewables, to create new, high-wage jobs, protect UK energy security, and deliver on net-zero, and chaired a high level meeting on forests, and announced new support for climate vulnerable countries”. But Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, said that Sunak’s response to the conclusion of the summit showed he was not taking the issue seriously. (See 3.06pm.)

Rishi Sunak posing for a selfie with pupils on a visit to Eramus Darwin Academy in Burntwood today.
Photograph: Simon Dawson/No10 Downing Street

Regulation watchdog says ministers have failed to provide justification for plan to scrap remaining EU laws

A regulation watchdog has given a damning verdict on the arguments being used by the government to justify the bill that could disapply more than 2,000 remaining laws.

In a report, the regulatory policy committee (RPC) says the government should not be embarking on such sweeping change without having a proper assessment of what the consequences might be.

The committee is a government body set up to provide independent advice on watchdogs. It describes itself as the better regulation watchdog.

It has made its comment in an analysis of the impact assessment published by the government to justify its retained EU law (revocation and reform) bill.

The committee says:

The bill proposes sunsetting more than 2,400 pieces of retained EU legislation (REUL) on 31 December 2023, unless, before then, a departmental review proposes retention of, or changes to, the legislation, or delays the sunset until 2026. No impacts for changes to individual pieces of REUL have been assessed at this stage. We asked the [business] department to commit to assessing the impact of changed and sunsetted legislation, for RPC scrutiny in the future, but the Department has not made a firm commitment to do so …

As the independent better regulation watchdog, it is our view that those affected by regulatory change should reasonably expect the government to properly consider the impacts of such changes. We are not assured that the impact of changing or sunsetting each piece of REUL will be calculated or understood under proposals currently in place – particularly where no related secondary legislation is required.

Commenting on the report, Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said:

This reckless bill is puts at risk vital workplace protections – like holiday pay, safe working hours and protection from discrimination.

It has been being rushed through with no consultation and no real thought for the impacts on working people and employers.

This damning assessment from the government’s own experts must force ministers to rethink.

They do not have mandate to slash and burn people’s rights at work. They must ditch this toxic bill now.

This is from Matthew Goodwin, a politics professor specialising in Brexit and populism, on what impact the ‘Swiss-style Brexit deal’ story may have had on leave support for the Tories.

The % of Leavers who are backing the Conservatives has collapsed from 76% after the @BorisJohnson 2019 victory to 58% at the start of this year to just 44% today. One of the biggest tasks facing @RishiSunak is to win them back. This weekend’s events will not have helped …

— Matt Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) November 21, 2022

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson admits he was wrong to say NI protocol led to heart operations being cancelled

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, has said regrets claiming that the Northern Ireland protocol had delayed some heart surgery operations from going ahead, PA Media reports. PA says:

Donaldson said he accepted the information about surgeries in Northern Ireland was “not entirely accurate”.

Earlier this month, the Southern health and social care trust said 20 patients were transferred to the care of the Belfast trust in August after it could not secure needed cardiac replacement kit in the UK or Ireland due to its size.

Speaking at the time, the DUP leader said healthcare “isn’t helped when access to medicines is impaired and inhibited” by the protocol.

He added: “How does that help people waiting on surgery, on life-saving treatment, that the protocol is preventing the health service from getting what it needs to provide that treatment? That’s why we need a solution on this.”

The trust said at the time that issues securing equipment was not linked to the protocol.

Speaking to the media today, Donaldson said:

I obviously spoke on the basis of the information that had been given from reliable medical sources. That information was not entirely accurate and it was placed in the public domain by me and I regret that this happened.

I accept the trust’s explanation that on this occasion it was the size of the equipment was the issue and they were able to source it from the supplier in Germany – and that the protocol on this occasion was not the problem.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA

Ocean Rebellion activists holding a protest outside the International Maritime Organisation offices in central London today. They are opposed to the use of fossil fuel in the shipping industry.
Ocean Rebellion activists holding a protest outside the International Maritime Organisation offices in central London today. They are opposed to the use of fossil fuel in the shipping industry. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Brussels is no more enthusiastic about agreeing a Swiss-style Brexit deal with the UK than Rishi Sunak is, Arj Singh reports for the i. Singh writes:

One EU official told i that the idea was “wishful thinking”, with Brussels wary of any return to the so-called cherry picking or cake-ism that defined the UK Brexit debate between 2016 and 2019.

The official instead said the EU views the briefing about a Swiss model as an attempt to gauge the scale of opposition among Tory Brexiteers – what is known in politics as flying a kite: “It seems more something aimed at the ERG (European Research Group) rather than at the EU.”

Jon Stone from the Independent makes a similar point.

Westminster seems to be talking about a ‘Swiss-style Brexit deal’ all of a sudden. but a Swiss-style Brexit deal isn’t even on the table for… Switzerland. The EU is actively working to get rid of it because they don’t like it

— Jon Stone (@joncstone) November 21, 2022

you may have spotted the story the other week about Switzerland and the UK signing their own ‘science deal’ because they’re both locked out of the EU’s Horizon programme. in the Swiss case the EU won’t let them in because of a diplomatic stalemate over their wider relationship

— Jon Stone (@joncstone) November 21, 2022

Cop27 failed on keeping global heating to just 1.5C, Ed Miliband says

Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, told MPs that the Cop27 failed on the key issue of keeping global heating to just 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. In his contribution to the urgent question, he said:

We should be clear, on the crucial issue of 1.5 degrees, this summit failed.

We already see the disastrous effects of one degree of warming. And, rather than tackle this crisis, too many leaders are fiddling while the world burns. And, as a result, we are currently on track according to the UN for a catastrophic 2.8 degrees of warming.

We should tell the truth. Unless we do something different and fast, we will leave a terrible legacy. With this backdrop, no country can be patting itself on the back. And as a country that considers itself a climate leader, we have a responsibility and opportunity to set the pace in the year ahead and our moral authority in the negotiations depends on it.

Miliband also criticised the UK government for “indulging in a dash for new fossil fuel licences which won’t even make a difference to bills”.

Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, has just started giving evidence to the Commons levelling up committee. There is a live feed at the top of the page.

Tony Danker, the director general of the CBI, has posted this message on Twitter saying he agrees with the vision Rishi Sunak set out in his speech to its conference this morning. He also says he is glad Sunak declared he wanted to hear suggestions from business as to what regulations should be changed. (See 11.12pm.)

But Danker came up with his own suggestion this morning, when he said the shortage occupation list should be expanded to allow firms to hire more workers from abroad. (See 9.04am.) And when Sunak was asked if he would accept this recommendation, he ducked the question and chuntered on about small boats instead. (See 12.28pm.)

In the Commons Nusrat Ghani, the industry minister, dismissed Caroline Lucas’s complaint the government not offering a proper statement on Cop27. (See 2.59pm and 3.06pm.) Ghani said that Graham Stuart, the climate minister, could not give a Commons statement today because he was still on his way back from the summit in Egypt, which only wrapped up yesterday. She said that the government offered to do a Commons statement tomorrow, but that Lucas insisted on a UQ today.

On the substance of the summit, Ghani also claimed that the Glasgow climate pact was still working. She said the progress made on loss and damage at Cop27 was significant. And she said the target of keeping global warming to just 1.5C above pre-industrial levels was still alive.

Lucy Fisher from Times Radio has spoken to a senior business figure who has been complaining about Rishi Sunak’s speech to the CBI.

Senior Biz source grumbles re Sunak: ‘Telling us illegal migration is higher priority [is] missing the point’

Had ‘one of PM’s team stayed’ at CBI conf ‘they would have more detail on the labour shortfall’

John Lewis’s issue, for example, is ‘not at the AI end of the spectrum’ https://t.co/Ho2G5BA1aQ

— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) November 21, 2022

Also told Sunak ‘overdid the NHS detail’ in CBI speech. ‘This audience isn’t health practitioners. But it does understand R&D, productivity, skills.’

Biz source welcomes PM’s innovation focus, but says govt must share risk & create investable propositions to unlock private cash

— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) November 21, 2022

Speaking to the media during a visit to a school in Staffordshire, Rishi Sunak said that the extra money for social care announced in the autumn statement last week would hep ambulance response times, by reducing the amount of time they need to spend waiting outside hospitals. He said:

One of the most important things we need to do is support people to move out of hospitals back into their homes, back into their communities, and that’s why the money that we have put in is going to go and support social care.

And if we can do that, and we can start doing that very quickly, then that will really help alleviate some of the pressure on ambulances waiting outside hospitals. I know that the NHS are committed to delivering on it. We’ve given them significant funding so they can get on with the job.

Asked what he would say to convince people in the Midlands who voted Tory for the first time in 2019 that the Conservatives were worth sticking with, Sunak replied:

I think most importantly now we need to make sure that we tackle inflation.

That’s the number one priority that everyone has. They are looking at the bills they are getting and wanting them to come down.

That’s why the plan that we announced last week is the right plan.

Rishi Sunak joining a chemistry during a visit to Erasmus Darwin academy in Burntwood, Staffordshire, today.
Rishi Sunak joining a chemistry class during a visit to Erasmus Darwin academy in Burntwood, Staffordshire, today. Photograph: Daily Telegraph/Andrew Fox/PA
Jamie Grierson

Jamie Grierson

MPs and parliamentarians have been warned by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, to remain vigilant in the wake of comments made by the head of MI5 about the threat posed to the UK by the Iranian state.

In an email, Hoyle notes that while police and intelligence agencies have not seen any hostile Iranian activity specifically targeting parliamentarians, he stresses the importance of remaining vigilant to this and “any other threats”.

Last week, the head of MI5, Ken McCallum, revealed there have been at least 10 potential threats by Iran to kidnap or kill British or UK-based people this year.

Iran projected threats “directly” in the UK through its “aggressive intelligence services”, he said, including ambitions to kidnap or even kill British or UK-based people perceived as enemies of the regime.

In his email, seen by the Guardian, Hoyle said:

Iran has also sanctioned a number of parliamentarians and the security department is in touch with them individually.

We should stress that the police and intelligence agencies are not seeing any hostile Iranian activity specifically focused on parliamentarians.

However, this is a good opportunity to remind you all to remain vigilant to this and any other threat.

He adds that the Iranian agencies have “strong offensive cyber capabilities” and urges all parliamentarians to review and implement mobile and email guidance.

In a blog on the row generated by claims the government was would like a Swiss-style Brexit deal, Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, says Rishi Sunak’s insistence that he is not looking at a Switzerland option will not satisfy his critics. Peston says:

The economic case for forging a better trading relationship with the EU is straightforward and obvious. And the politics is completely toxic.So here is the nightmare for the prime minister and chancellor. They’ll deny from breakfast till bed-time that a Swiss-style relationship with the EU is not on the agenda, but the Brexiters in their own party will never believe them, partly because their permanent way-of-life is vigilance against betrayal and also because the background economics mean this time they are right to fear betrayal.

Or to put it another way, none of this will or can be sorted till after the next election, the more so since it is in the interest of the Labour party to be utterly disengaged in it all, in the expectation that (yet again) Brexit will tear apart the government.

The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope suggests Jeremy Hunt himself was the source of the Sunday Times story saying the government wanted a Swiss-style relationship with the EU.

*Today’s Chopper’s Politics Newsletter*
Jeremy Hunt blamed for claims that UK might get a Suiss-style Brexit deal with EU.
One senior Brexiteer tells me: “Despite yesterday’s vehement rebuttals from No 10, it now appears that the source of the story was the Chancellor himself.” pic.twitter.com/MLKELGsSN2

— Christopher Hope📝 (@christopherhope) November 21, 2022

The Green MP Caroline Lucas has criticised the government for not offering a proper statement to MPs about Cop27. Referring to her urgent question on the topic, which has been granted (see 2.59pm), she said:

At the conclusion of one of the most consequential global climate summits in a generation, all our prime minister could muster was a 33-word tweet.

This frankly pathetic statement is just the latest piece of evidence that our prime minister utterly lacks the climate leadership our country, and planet, desperately needs. From a screeching u-turn on showing up to Cop27 in the first place, to failing to rule out a disastrous new coal mine in Cumbria, to gifting fossil fuel companies a gigantic tax loophole for climate-wrecking oil & gas investment – these are not the actions of a climate leader.

Industry minister with no responsibility for climate put up to answer urgent question on Cop27

Helena Horton

Cop27 ended this weekend with an underwhelming agreement which did not agree to phase out the use of fossil fuels.

After Rishi Sunak’s team said he was not going to attend, and his decision to ban King Charles from the summit, the prime minister decided to quash criticism of his apparent lack of interest in Cop or the environment by jetting to Egypt to do a last-minute speech. Critics noticed he appeared to spend the bulk of his time at the summit speaking to Macron and the assembled press about migrants in the English Channel.

Fears this government is not taking Cop and climate change entirely seriously will not be assuaged by the fact junior minister Nusrat Ghani has been wheeled out to answer an urgent question tabled by Caroline Lucas on the summit this afternoon.

She has asked Grant Shapps, the business secretary, for a statement on Cop27 today, but instead he has sent Ghani to speak on his behalf.

Opposition sources have grumbled that Ghani, the industry minister, does not even have climate as part of her brief, and was not at the summit or seemingly involved in any discussions around it.

Tory MP David Warburton admits breaking Commons rules in failing to declare £150,000 loan

The Conservative MP David Warburton has admitted that he broke Commons rules in failing to declare a £150,000 loan from a Russian-born businessman, Roman Joukovski. Warburton also broke the rules when he wrote to the Financial Conduct Authority to provide a reference for Joukovski without mentioning the loan, Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards has concluded.

But, in a report, Stone also said that Warburton’s decision to provide the reference did not break the rule saying MPs should not engage in paid lobbying because Warburton was not trying to obtain a financial or material benefit for Warburton.

Warburton has accepted his mistake, apologised, and included the loan in his entry in the register of members’ interests.

Stone dealt with the complaint under the rectification procedure, which is used for resolving complaints that do not need to be referred to the Commons standards committee because they are judged relatively minor and straightforward.

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