COP26 Update: ‘Make or break’ Parliamentary term

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

With less than two months until the COP26 Summit, Brevia will be tracking the latest milestones in the UK’s preparations for the upcoming climate conference. This week saw MPs return to Parliament following the summer recess, with what is certain to be a packed Parliamentary term. COP26 President Alok Sharma MP unveiled some further detail on the UK’s preparation plans for the climate summit, whilst the EAC Chair, The Rt Hon Philip Dunne, called on the Government to deliver effective climate leadership in the run up to the event.

UK to pay for delegates’ hotel quarantine

The UK Government issued a press release this week confirming it will fund the required quarantine hotel stays for delegates arriving from red list areas, as well as offer vaccines to accredited delegates who would otherwise be unable to get vaccinated.[1]

The President Designate also put out a tweet stating his commitment to delivering a fully in person conference. His statement followed an earlier warning published by the Climate Action Network, calling for the COP26 summit to be postponed. The network warned that “vaccine inequity, unaffordable accommodation, travel challenges and new surges in the Covid19 pandemic” would result in an unfair and exclusionary working environment for the climate talks.[2] It is not the first time an environmental group has raised concerns over fairness during the talks, with Greta Thunberg having suggested she would not attend the talks unless there was vaccine parity between countries.[3]

It is hoped that the Government’s new commitments will ease concerns over fair access to the COP26 event this November, with further contingency measures expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

‘Make of break’ Parliamentary term

Writing in the House Magazine, the Environmental Audit Committee Chair (EAC), Philip Dunne MP, set out the importance of the coming Parliamentary term for the transition to net zero.[4]

Whilst the publication of the Hydrogen Strategy was a welcome step, a number of key green publications are still expected, including the much-delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Treasury’s Net Zero Spending Review, and the BEIS Department’s overarching Net Zero Strategy. Rather worryingly, in response to a Parliamentary Question on the publication of the heavily anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan stated the document would be published ‘in due course’, raising further fears about an additional delay.[5]

With less than two months until the climate conference, the EAC Chair rightly noted that countries will look to the UK to lead by example and set out concrete policy commitments, backed up by clear funding and spending signals to investors.

Indeed, the Government has been forthcoming in its ambitious commitments, most notably with the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. However, with the COP26 event nearing, and faced with a number of difficult decisions – not least around costs and the decarbonisation of heat, the Government is in a race against time to live up to its desired green credentials.

President Biden to attend COP26

On Thursday evening, the Times journalist Tom Newton Dunn reported that US President Joe Biden had informally confirmed his attendance to the COP26 event in Glasgow.[6]

Whilst there has not been an official memo from the White House yet, the President stated that he planned to attend the COP26 summit during a speech delivered in Queens on Tuesday on Hurricane Ida. The transcript can be accessed through here.

This will come as a welcome relief to the Prime Minister, and indeed to those involved with COP26, following a series of setbacks over the summer recess, such as the failure to reach an agreement on the elimination of coal and overseas coal financing back in July.[7]

It is hoped that the President’s attendance will increase the likelihood of countries setting out bolder, more concrete climate ambitions, as well as attract international attention to the summit. Other notable attendees announced recently include the Queen, Prince Charles as well as Pope Francis.[8]

BREVIA CONSULTING PROVIDES STRAIGHTFORWARD POLITICAL AND COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS

Discover how Brevia can help you and your organisation by contacting the Brevia Energy Team on 020 7091 1650 or emailing us at: contact@brevia.co.uk

Notes

[1]Cabinet Office, ‘COP26 President statement on COVID measures for delegates coming to Glasgow’, 7 September 2021, Link

[2] Climate Action Network, ‘’Cop26 Must Be Postponed’, 7 September 2021, Link

[3], Agence France-Presse ‘Greta Thunberg says she will not attend Cop26 climate summit’, The Guardian, 9 April 2021, link

[4] The Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, ‘This Parliamentary term is make-or-break for effective climate leadership and global action’, The House Magazine, 7 September 2021, Link

[5] UK Parliament: Written Question, 9 September 2021, UIN 42002, Link

[6] Tom Newton Dunn, Twitter, 9 September 2021, Link

[7] Cabinet Office, ‘COP26 President-Designate welcomes agreement from G20 to limit warming to 1.5C but urges further action on coal phase out’, 23 July 2021, Link

[8] BBC News, ‘COP26: Queen to attend climate conference in Glasgow’, 27 August 2021, Link

LATEST NEWS

Energy

What the Energy Security Strategy tells us about the Government’s current priorities

After several weeks of reported delays, disagreements and leaks, the Government has finally published its Energy Security Strategy. Crucially, the Strategy provides us with an insight into the main influences and influencers of this Government. With the next general election a mere two years away, the Prime Minister appears to be moving away from the climate focus seen at COP26. Instead focusing on internal party politics and maintaining support within the Conservative . Below, Brevia has unpacked some of the telling signs of what is currently influencing Government direction on energy policy.

Read More »
Brevia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will impact UK energy policy

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the world. The ways it has done so are yet to be fully understood. Many of our post Cold War assumptions have been upended: Germany has abandoned its longstanding policy of maintaining a limited armed forces to commit €100 billion to defence spending; Switzerland has departed from its historical neutrality to apply sanctions to Russia; Finland is now openly discussing NATO membership and things we had assumed would never happen continue to do so on a daily basis. Set against the human tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine, these events can seem small or insignificant in comparison. Nonetheless, they are likely to have enduring consequences for everyone in Europe. Particularly when it comes to how Europe, including the UK, powers itself.

Read More »
General

What did the White Paper tell us about the Levelling Up Agenda?

Last week, the Government published its long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper. The White Paper goes some way to answering the vexed question of ‘What is levelling up?’, by setting out twelve missions the Government hopes to accomplish by 2030. In addition, the Paper sets out a framework for extending devolution in England which could increase the transparency of the process. However, new funding commitments are thin on the ground, and critics suggest the Government has not provided enough money for Levelling Up to succeed.

Read More »
  • Get in touch to arrange your free monitoring trial.