Monday 16 May 2022
Update on Carbon Leakage Mitigations
The Government are taking ambitious domestic action to tackle climate change and recently opened a consultation on developing the UK emissions trading scheme (ETS), so the UK can become the world’s first net zero carbon cap and trade market . While domestic action is critical, climate change is a global issue. When the UK took on the COP26 presidency, only 30% of the world was covered by net zero targets—now over 90% of the global economy is committed to net zero. In 2021, the UK placed climate change and nature at the top of the international agenda during its G7 and COP26 presidencies, presiding over the agreement of the Glasgow climate pact, to speed up the pace of climate action.
The Government also want to see other countries do more to drive down their own emissions and we continue to work on the global stage to support more ambitious international action. Recent global events and the resulting increase in energy prices reinforce the importance of transitioning to clean energy to ensure energy security and reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels.
In parallel, Government are considering domestic action to continue to ensure the integrity of UK action to reduce its carbon emissions against carbon leakage, as our existing carbon leakage protection measures, including free allowances under the UK ETS, evolve to achieve our net zero objectives. This will also ensure that UK businesses are not disadvantaged. Carbon leakage is the displacement of production, and associated emissions, from one jurisdiction to another, due to different levels of carbon pricing and climate regulation across those jurisdictions.
The best way to prevent carbon leakage would be for all countries to move together in pricing, regulating, and therefore reducing carbon emissions. We are strongly committed to working with our international partners to develop a common global approach to carbon leakage. Multilateral solutions can take time to develop, however, and while we will continue to work on international solutions with partners, options for domestic action must be considered in parallel.
The Government are therefore exploring a range of policies that could mitigate future carbon leakage risk. These include policies to grow the market for low emissions industrial products, on which the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently undertook a call for evidence. Today, we are announcing that it is our intention to consult later in the year on a range of carbon leakage mitigation options, including on whether measures such as product standards and a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) could be appropriate tools in the UK’s policy mix. A CBAM applies a carbon price to specified imports, in order to mitigate differences in carbon pricing between jurisdictions, and therefore reduce the risk of carbon leakage.
The Government are clear that any policy or policies would need to carefully balance a range of priorities for the UK, both domestically and internationally, including compliance with WTO rules and our staunch commitment to free and open trade, alongside taking into account the needs of developing countries. As we determine our approach to carbon leakage, we will continue our ongoing engagement with our domestic and international partners.
: Developing the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) — GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Condition Improvement Fund
My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System (Baroness Barran) has made the following statement.
Today, I am announcing the allocation of £498 million for 1,405 Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) projects across 1,129 academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools to maintain and improve the condition of the education estate.
This funding is provided to enable schools to provide well maintained facilities and give students safe environments that support a high-quality education. Since March 2015 CIF has delivered 9,148 projects and continues to deliver 1,905 projects across the school estate with essential maintenance projects.
Details of this announcement have been sent to all CIF applicants and a list of successful projects has been published on www.gov.uk. I will also place copies in the House Library.
Initial Teacher Training Reform Programme
Today, the Department for Education (DfE) informed applicants of the outcomes of the first accreditation round of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) reform programme. Eighty applicants have been awarded accreditation so far, and a second round will open for applications on 23 May and close on 27 June. We will announce the successful applicants of both rounds when the process is complete in the autumn.
In December 2021, the Government announced a set of reforms to ITT that leads to qualified teacher status. The reforms, which centre around a new set of “quality requirements”, aim to ensure greater quality, consistency and coherence in ITT, building on earlier reforms to teacher development.
To deliver ITT from September 2024, both existing and prospective providers of ITT must pass a new accreditation process. This process has been designed to assess applicants’ capability and capacity to deliver the highest quality ITT in line with the new quality requirements, which will become part of the ITT criteria from the 2024-25 academic year.
From the autumn, accredited providers will proceed to the quality assurance stage. In this stage, providers will work with the DfE to ensure that all ITT courses are fully developed in line with the new 2024-25 ITT criteria. The DfE will also work with accredited providers ahead of 2024 delivery to ensure that they have strong partnerships in place to provide sufficient training places in the subjects, phases and geographies in which they are needed. Further details will be published in due course.
The accreditation process was designed to be rigorous but proportionate, and I am confident that the evaluation of applications for accreditation has been thorough, undertaken jointly by trained DfE and Ofsted assessors.
Applicants who were not awarded accreditation in round one have been given feedback on their application to help them understand the areas they need to address, should they wish to re-apply in round two. Both existing and prospective providers who did not apply in round one are being encouraged to do so in round two.
If an applicant decides not to re-apply, we are encouraging them to consider partnering with newly accredited providers to build strong families of providers ready for 2024 delivery and ensure a high-quality and sufficient ITT market.
I am confident that these reforms will help create a truly world-class teacher development system that makes England the best place in the world to become a great teacher.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
International Development Strategy
Today we have laid out our vision for the future of UK international development. Development will be at the heart of the UK’s foreign policy, which uses all the levers available—including development, diplomacy, investment, trade, defence and intelligence—to deliver on our foreign policy objectives.
The strategy will help address increasing global challenges, delivering investment, supporting women and girls, getting humanitarian assistance to those who need it most, and continuing our work on climate change, nature and global health.
The strategy, which builds on a proud record of global leadership on development, will challenge dependency on malign actors, offering choice and bringing more countries into the orbit of free-market economies.
We will use British international investment and other tools to provide honest and reliable finance to help low and middle-income countries take control of their futures, giving them an alternative so they are not burdened with unsustainable debt with strings attached. This approach will help deliver the clean green initiative, supporting countries to grow their economies sustainably.
The strategy will rebalance the aid budget towards bilateral programmes. This will give the Government greater control over how money is spent, allowing a focus on priorities and improving lives around the world.
The international development strategy sets out four priorities where the UK can meet the needs of partner countries around the world:
Delivering honest, reliable investment through British investment partnerships, building on the UK’s financial expertise and the strengths of the City of London, and delivering the Prime Minister’s vision for the clean green initiative—supporting countries to grow their economies sustainably.
Providing women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed. We intend to restore the bilateral budget to help unlock their potential, educate girls, support their empowerment and protect them against violence.
Stepping-up our life-saving humanitarian work to prevent the worst forms of human suffering around the world. We will prioritise humanitarian funding levels at around £3 billion over the next three years, to remain a leader in crisis response.
Taking forward our work on climate change, nature and global health. We are putting the commitments of our presidency of G7 and COP26, and our covid-19 response, at the core of our international development offer.
Our new approach will:
Spend more on country and bilateral programmes rather than through multilateral organisations, empowering the UK to deliver more aid directly to where it is needed. By 2025, the FCDO intends to spend around three quarters of its aid budget allocated at the 2021 spending review bilaterally.
Use world-class British expertise to support partner countries by providing advice, exchanging lessons and evidence of what works, and building partnerships across Government, research, business and civil society.
Cut back red tape and excessive bureaucracy around delivering aid and give ambassadors and high commissioners greater authority to get programmes delivering on the ground quickly.
Sustain our commitment to Africa and ensure our development programmes in the Indo Pacific remain a critical part of our ambition to increase our focus on the region.
This strategy sets the direction for all of the UK’s development work. The FCDO will oversee cross-Government efforts to deliver the strategy and draw upon the expertise of the private sector, civil society and academia to advise and challenge us on implementation.
Health and Social Care
High Fat, Sugar or Salt Products: Delay in Volume Price Promotion and Advertising Restrictions
The Government are delaying the implementation of the volume price promotion restrictions and the introduction of further advertising restrictions on TV and online for high fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) products by 12 months.
We are clear that the delay to volume price promotions does not impact the locations measures which will still come into force on 1 October 2022. Under these measures, less healthy products in scope will no longer be promoted in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents. We expect these location restrictions to be the single most impactful obesity policy at reducing children’s calorie consumption and are expected to accrue health benefits of over £57 billion and provide NHS savings of over £4 billion, over the next 25 years.
The delay to restrictions on multibuy deals will allow the Government to review and monitor the impact of the restrictions on the cost of living in light of an unprecedented global economic situation.
A delay to the advertising restrictions is necessary because a delay in the Health and Care Act 2022 receiving Royal Assent has had a consequential impact on the timetable for the regulators’ subsequent consultations and publication of final guidance, meaning it was unlikely this would be ready with sufficient time before implementation.
We have also considered the ongoing concerns from industry about having time to fully implement the final guidance, by restructuring their funding and revenue streams appropriately, and ensuring robust compliance from implementation. We therefore believe this is the best approach to balance tackling childhood obesity in a timely way, managing the unprecedented economic situation and ensuring the smooth and effective implementation of these restrictions. The advertising regulations will now come into force on 1 January 2024.
We included a power in the Health and Care Act to delay implementation of the advertising restrictions if necessary. We will be utilising this power to amend the date of implementation for the advertising restrictions by secondary legislation. The implementation of the volume price restrictions will also be amended by secondary legislation.
This Government remain committed to halving childhood obesity by 2030 and these measures and others, including last month’s new measures on calorie labelling in large restaurants, cafes and takeaways, will play their part in delivering against this ambition.