Proud of how our nation worked to ensure a global approach to climate change

Delegates in the Cairn Gorm plenary room during the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow. Picture date: F

Delegates during the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow - Credit: PA

Thousands of delegates, representing more than 200 countries, came together in Glasgow to discuss one of the greatest challenges of our time, tackling climate change.

Despite many challenges, significant progress was made with 90 per cent of the global economy now covered by net zero commitments, although opposition from India and China meant a commitment to phase out coal had to become a commitment to phase it down instead to ensure an agreement reached.

Yet 65 countries, including the UK, signed an agreement during the meeting to phase out its use completely.

Crucially, the agreement reached in Glasgow keeps in sight the goal of restricting global temperatures rises to a maximum of 1.5 degrees, vital to preventing millions being exposed to impacts such as increased instances of extreme weather, with countries agreeing to return next year with more ambitious carbon reduction targets. 

We can be proud of the way our nation brought together so many and worked to ensure a global approach to one of the greatest challenges of our time.

What we must now ensure is pledges made in Glasgow turn into action when world leaders return home. 

Remembrance 

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The last week saw our Bay pause to remember those who sacrificed their lives in the service of our country and the defence of democracy. 

Remembrance services this year were particularly poignant given events in Afghanistan, which have hit hard those who served and lost comrades there.

While there has not been a major war between European nations since 1945, many in our forces have faced difficultly and danger since then in conflicts across the globe, often with the mental scars of service remaining long after physical wounds have healed. 

The last week also an appropriate time to think of those who have served in the fight against the latest deadly threat to face our nation, including those on the front line of our health and social care services, plus the many who stepped forward to volunteer when an appeal went out.  

Remembering the sacrifices made by this and previous generations is the best way of ensuring we do not forget the lessons of history and the price paid to preserve the democratic freedoms we enjoy today. 

Down syndrome 

People with Down syndrome will be legally recognised as a specific minority group as the Government has backed proposed new laws to ensure all public bodies meet their needs. 

The changes will stop people with Down syndrome from being treated more broadly as a disabled person, which means their needs may be neglected and their abilities not recognised.

The changes were proposed in a Private Member’s Bill by Dr Liam Fox and will make a real difference. 

Surgery times 

My next surgeries are tomorrow, Friday, November 19, from 3pm to 5pm at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD and Saturday, November 27, 11am to 1pm at Paignton Library, Great Western Rd, Paignton TQ4 5AG.

Sadly, my surgeries must remain appointment only at this stage given the prevailing public health guidance. 

For an appointment you can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989.

You can also drop into my office at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday. Please note you may have to wait outside if others attend at the same time.