The Chartist

Emission impossible?


Well, the Copenhagen climate summit wasn't a complete washout, right? Fifty-five countries have pledged to make emissions cuts, or at least to "reduce carbon intensity" by 2020. Fifty-five! It's just that, even if those 55 (of the 192 that were there) stick to the (non-binding) agreement they've signed, we are nowhere near meeting the necessary levels to prevent temperatures rising more than 2°C . . .



Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.