Whether you like the concept or not, Global Britain is here to stay. The government’s Integrated Review, which was published on Tuesday, is a powerful assessment of the UK’s role in the world and is set to define the course of foreign policy for the next decade and beyond. For climate change, the next ten years are a crucial window. Global emissions must nearly halve by 2030, from 2010 levels, if we’re to have a hope of keeping global warming limited to a safe level of 1.5˚C. In this sense, the greatest challenge for UK diplomacy in the coming years will be in leading global co-operation to tackle climate change. The UK has put its best foot forward in choosing to host this November’s COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow — a sure sign that climate change is rightly a top priority for our foreign policy. Why, then, has the government decided to cut the UK aid budget? Slashing aid has been justified as a necessary sacrifice on the altar of economic expediency. But on closer inspection the government’s decision has dealt a potentially lethal blow not only to the thousands, including in Yemen, who depend upon this aid for survival — but to the UK’s hopes for a successful COP26.
Times 25th March 2021 read more »