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UK: COP 26 ends with global agreement to speed up action on climate change



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Nearly 200 countries agreed the “Glasgow Climate Pact” to keep 1.5C alive, but it will only be delivered with a huge global effort.

Agreements made at COP26 include 130 countries across the globe, including Pakistan, committing to end and reverse deforestation, along with cutting methane emissions by 30% by the year 2030. Around 30 big Pakistani businesses signed up to the UK in Pakistan’s 26for26 campaign pledging to halve their carbon emissions by 2030 and to achieve net zero by 2050.

Last week, the UK announced more than £55 million to help Pakistan build its resilience to the impacts of climate change, manage water more sustainably and unlock climate investment. Pakistan is ranked as the 8th most vulnerable country to climate change with rising temperatures threatening to melt 36% of glaciers along the Hindu Kush and Himalayan range by 2100.

Pakistan has said it aims to produce 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and has committed to not importing any new coal. To speed up the phasing out of coal fired power stations, Pakistan signed up to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Energy Transition Mechanism The ADB will help show how early coal plant closure might be achieved.

When the UK took on the COP26 leadership role nearly two years ago, only 30% of the world was covered by net zero targets. This figure is now at around 90%. Over the same period, 154 Parties have submitted new national targets, representing 80% of global emissions.

The UK Presidency has also been focused on driving action to deliver emissions reductions. We have seen a huge shift in coal, with many more countries committing to phase out unabated coal power and ending international coal financing.

While on the world’s roads, the transition to zero emissions vehicles is gathering pace, with some of the largest car manufacturers working together to make all new car sales zero emission by 2040 and by 2035 in leading markets. Countries and cities are following suit with ambitious petrol and diesel car phase out dates.

Notes to editors:

  1. COP26 was the largest international event of its kind ever held in the UK with more than 25,000 delegates convening in the city of Glasgow, including world leaders, opinion formers and top businesses.

  2. The UK’s £55.5 million new funding for climate change in Pakistan is split into three parts: i) a 5-year climate resilience programme – worth £38 million – will help Pakistan’s poorest communities to protect themselves from the changing climate; ii) a 5-year water governance programme – worth £15 million – will make water use in Pakistan more sustainable and water access fairer; and iii) an additional £2.5 million to support new ways of attracting much needed climate investment to Pakistan, including on the development of a Nature Performance Bond.

  3. The “Glasgow Climate Pact” will speed up the pace of climate action. All countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in 2022. This will be combined with a yearly political roundtable to consider a global progress report and a Leaders summit in 2023.

  4. As hosts of COP26 (co-hosted with Italy), the UK had been driving international action and support to adapt to the effects of climate change, which are already impacting lives, livelihoods and natural habitats across the world. Thirty five countries joined the Adaptation Action Coalition, and over 2,000 businesses, investors, regions, cities and other non-state actors joined the Race to Resilience. Over 40 countries and organisations joined the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership, committing to make 1 billion people safer from disaster by 2025.

  5. To support the transition to net zero and climate resilient economies, getting public and private finance flowing is crucial, especially to emerging markets and developing economies. Under the UK’s COP26 & G7 Presidencies, we have seen clear moves towards this goal. G7 countries have committed new finance towards the $100bn in climate finance goal, including more funding for adaptation.

  6. The Paris Rulebook, the guidelines for how the Paris Agreement is delivered, was also completed yesterday after six years of discussions. This will allow for the full delivery of the landmark accord, after agreement on a transparency process which will hold countries to account as they deliver on their targets. This includes Article 6, which establishes a robust framework for countries to exchange carbon credits through the UNFCCC.

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Source: GOV.UK


UK: Trade Secretary to boost transatlantic trade and investment on first US visit



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  • Trade Secretary will use first stateside visit to NY and DC to bolster UK-US trade ties across the breadth of our shared interests
  • Visit builds on recent successes in lifting US ban on British beef and lamb
  • US-owned businesses supported 1.48 million UK jobs in 2019 with 60% outside London and the South East, according to new DIT analysis.

The International Trade Secretary will lay the groundwork for a broad approach to transatlantic trade and investment in her first official visit to New York and Washington DC this week.

From shared strategic priorities on WTO reforms and removing trade barriers such as the recent lamb ban removal, to closer trade ties with individual US states and continued work towards a future free trade agreement, the UK will be looking to take our economic relationship with the US to the next level.

New research published today by the Department for International Trade shows the US has been the UK’s largest single inward investment partner country for the last two decades.

US businesses employed almost 1.5 million people in the UK in 2019, up 74% since 1997. It also shows that 60% of these are jobs now outside of London and the South East, with 179,000 jobs in the North East and North West. Wholesale and retail accounted for 29% of UK employment in US-owned businesses in 2019, followed by 22% in scientific, technical and IT activities.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“We share a thriving trade partnership with the US, which is driving investment into all corners of the UK helping to level up our economy, and create jobs and prosperity.

“From Teesside to Tulsa, there are huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We’ve already made strong progress; from getting British beef and lamb back on US plates, to lowering the cost of Scotch Whisky exports by addressing the long-running Airbus-Boeing issue. Now is the time to hit the ground running and get on with boosting ties with our closest ally.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan will meet senior investors in New York to promote the UK as the world’s most attractive investment destination and follow up on progress made at the recent Global Investment Summit.

She will then be in DC on Tuesday to meet US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and members of Congress to discuss deepening trade ties, our shared approach to tackling market distorting trade practices and practical solutions to drive WTO reform.

Afterwards, the Trade Secretary will meet US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to discuss how trade and investment can support each country’s levelling up agendas, and push for a resolution to s232 steel and aluminium tariffs to support British industry. She will also attend a Women in Trade Roundtable hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce.

The visit offers an opportunity to build support for state-level cooperation that offer significant opportunity to unlock trade and investment wins for UK and US businesses.

Minister of State for Trade Penny Mordaunt will, this week, kick off a multi-state visit – including California, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma – to complement this approach. Minister Mordaunt will meet with governors, local representatives, commissioners and businesses in each state to discuss priority areas for further cooperation, such as services, digital and agriculture.

The UK already benefits from strong ties with US states, and many US states are significant economies in their own right. Together, the economies of the South-Eastern states make the region equivalent to the 8th largest economy in the world, approximately the size of Italy. California’s GDP was over $3tn in 2020, equivalent to the 5th largest economy in the world, and over 126,000 jobs in California are supported by UK companies.

As the two biggest exporters of services in the world, closer ties between the UK and US on a state-by-state level would make it easier for professionals, such as engineers or lawyers, to work across the Atlantic. Going forward, the UK will also seek tailored, MOU-style agreements which will set out areas for future cooperation to deepen our transatlantic trading relationship.

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Republicans, Business Leaders Slam AOC For ‘Tone-Deaf’ Remark About Smash-And-Grab Robberies



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Congressional Republicans and business leaders slammed far-left “Squad” member and New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over comments she made about the recent rash of “smash-and-grab” thefts taking place all over the country.

In an interview with the Washington Times last week, Ocasio-Cortez said that “a lot of these allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out.”

“I believe it’s a Walgreens in California cited it, but the data didn’t back it up,” she said.

Walgreens announced in October that it was closing five stores in the city of San Francisco following a rash of thefts at its stores in the area, The Daily Wire reported.

“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco,” Walgreens announced at the time.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” said Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

Retail theft has since spread across the state of California, and has spread to other major cities across the country like Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

“I don’t know what data she is talking about, but you don’t really need much data from [some place] in San Francisco or California,” Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis said about Ocasio-Cortez. “All you need to do is walk down the street to the CVS in Eastern Market,” he continued, referring to a public market in the area of the Capitol building. “I’ve seen on multiple occasions when I’ve been in there buying things, someone will come in and raid a shelf and walk out.”

“It’s important that people use appropriate words when something is clearly happening,” California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa added. “Law enforcement may have to say ‘alleged’ because no one has been convicted, but I think people who know better should use more appropriate words. But she’s not known for appropriate words,” he continued, adding that Ocasio-Cortez’s “credibility continues to fall.”

Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks told the Washington Times that Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks are “tone deaf and offensive,” citing the example of a security guard who was murdered while trying to protect a news team covering a smash-and-grab robbery in San Francisco.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association also blasted the New York Democrat.

“Respectfully, the congresswoman has no idea what she is talking about. Both the data and stack of video evidence makes fairly clear that this is a growing problem in need of solutions,” Jason Brewer, the RILA’s senior executive vice president of communications wrote in an email to the Washington Times. “If she is not concerned with organized theft and increasingly violent attacks on retail employees, she should just say that.”

The National Retail Federation told the Times that “organized retail crime” has cost businesses an average of $719,548 per $1 billion in sales in 2021. That cost of lost merchandise has been above $700,000 for the past five years, the NLRF said.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

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UK Govt Apologizes For Suspending Visa Applications For Visitors From Nigeria



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The United Kingdom has tendered apology for pausing visa applications for Nigerians who wish to visit the UK anytime soon.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria noted in a statement that due to the covid-19 Omicron variant confirmed in travellers from Nigeria, it has taken a tough decision to stop visitors from the country till further notice.

The statement reads:

“To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from CoviD-19 and associated variants of concern (VOCa. UK Visas & Immigration (UKV) will pause making decisions on visitor visa aplications in all red list countries including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted.

“Visit visas cover travel to the UK for Tourism, Visiting family and friends,
Undertaking short term business activties, taking part in research or exchange programme.

“You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red
list travel restrictions remain in place.

“You wil not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Meanwhile, the latest directive for visitors does not affect Nigerian UK citizens and residents who would be allowed entry on strict protocol compliance.

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