UK Climate Diplomats Face Axe After COP21 Paris Summit

national gridThe UK’s global network of climate diplomats is facing the chop days before negotiations on a new UN deal to tackle global warming open in Paris. More than 100 posts are under threat, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) set for 25-40% resource budget cuts by 2019-20 under a spending review due out on 25 November. –Ed King, Climate Home, 25 November 2015

The Department for Energy & Climate Change day to day resource budget has been cut by 22%, it has been announced. Chancellor George Osborne launched the Spending Review this afternoon announcing he was “building Britain to become prosperous” by taking the “difficult decisions” to bring debt down. He told the House of Commons: “We are committed to the low carbon sector and we show our commitment to the Paris talks next week. But we believe going green should not cost the earth.” —renews, 25 November 2015

One of the problems with being a PR guy for an environmentally minded billionaire is that you sometimes find yourself having to utter complete drivel in public fora. There has been a lovely example of this in recent weeks, when, in a letter to the FT, Lord Stern claimed that 7 million deaths each year were caused by pollution derived from fossil fuels. This was disputed by Matt Ridley, who pointed out in another letter that most of these deaths were actually caused by burning wood and dung. The mess into which Stern has got himself has now been firmly laid bare by Bjorn Lomborg, whose letter to the FT today sets out the figures in gory detail. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 25 November 2015

Former Tory MP Tim Yeo has lost his libel action over a “cash-for-advocacy” claim which he said trashed his reputation. Yeo had asked for substantial compensation over three reports in the Sunday Times, in June 2013, which followed a lunch the previous month with two undercover journalists from the Insight team posing as representatives for a solar energy concern in the Far East. They alleged that he was prepared to, and had offered to, act in a way that was in breach of the Commons code of conduct by acting as a paid parliamentary advocate who would push for new laws to benefit the business of a client for a daily fee of ¬£7,000 and approach ministers, civil servants and other MPs to promote a client’s private agenda in return for cash. —Press Association, 25 November 2015

A new Fox News poll finds that in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the issue of terrorism has become the top concern of American voters. The new poll also found that Americans are largely unconcerned with climate change, which the Obama administration has repeatedly pointed to as the nation’s top security threat. Only 3 percent of respondents said that global warming was the most important issue facing the country today, down from 5 percent in a Fox poll released last August. —Dan Joseph, MRC TV News, 24 November 2015