Good morning. It’s environment day on the No 10 grid and, ahead of the Cop28 summit starting in Dubai later this week, Rishi Sunak has announced some green initiatives. as Helena Horton reports, they include plans to designate a new national park. And, in an article for the Daily Telegraph, Sunak says he will stop councils cutting down trees without properly consulting residents.
However, at net zero, Sunak was strongly criticized by Theresa May, the former prime minister. As PM May bills to set a 2050 net zero target in law and, speaking to the Times, he said he was against plans in the king’s speech to legislate to ensure that new oil and gas licenses in North Sea is issued every year. Sunak said he wants to “maximize” these resources. But May said:
I have a different view of the government regarding oil and gas licenses. This is about [a] phase-out and, in the end, that’s what it’s all about in terms of fossil fuels…
Obviously, energy security for us is important but … the new oil and gas licenses only provide for energy security if all the energy is sold in the UK and, in fact, it is sold on the world market , so I think there are questions around. that.
No 10 wants it to be the day around, but at PMQs other issues tend to dominate. The gap between what Tory backbenchers want Sunak to do about cutting immigration, and what he is likely to announce, seems to be getting bigger by the day, and this row is bound to come. And Sunak still faces widespread criticism for his decision to snub the Greek PM.
Here is the agenda for the day.
Morning: David Cameron, the foreign secretary, is at the Nato-Ukraine council in Brussels.
9.30am: Sir Matthew Rycroft, permanent secretary at the Home Office, gives evidence to the Commons home affairs committee.
10am: Prof Dame Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, continues to give evidence on the Covid inquiry. Sajid Javid, the former health secretary, is also due to give evidence in the morning.
10am: The OECD publishes its latest economic forecasts.
Noon: Rishi Sunak takes on Keir Starmer at PMQs.
2pm: Dominic Raab, the former deputy PM, gives evidence to the Covid inquiry.
2.15pm: Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, gives evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about the autumn statement.
Also today Steve Barclay, the environment secretary, announced plans to designate a new national park, as part of the government’s response to the Glover review of national parks.
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