#AceNewsReport – Dec.04: Aberdeen’s Chamber of Commerce said a “premature” end to domestic production could see some areas suffer the fate of mining communities in the 1980s.
#AceDailyNews Cambo Oilfield Report: Jobs warning as Shell pulls out of oil field development Environmentalists say new fossil fuel projects like Cambo are incompatible with action on climate change according to BBC Business says Cambo’s majority stakeholder said it was “disappointed” by Shell’s decision.
Siccar Point Energy said it would continue talks with the UK government about developing the oil field, located west of Shetland.
Shell, which has faced widespread criticism over its 30% stake in Cambo, said it now believed the economic case for investment was “not strong enough”.
Greenpeace welcomed the announcement, describing it as the “death blow” for the plans.
But industry body Oil and Gas UK insisted developments such as Cambo were needed during the transition to sustainable energy.
External relations director Jenny Stanning said: “This is a commercial decision between partners but doesn’t change the facts that the UK will continue to need new oil and gas projects if we are to protect security of supply, avoid increasing reliance on imports and support jobs.”
It is too early to write the obituary of the North Sea oil and gas industry, despite claims by some environmental campaigners that Shell’s decision marks the beginning of the end.
That’s because, whatever Shell says in public, this is about reputational cost not conventional economics.
Battling environmentalists and the Scottish government for the right to drill for oil is not a good look for a company that claims to be transitioning away from fossil fuels.
But the Cambo oilfield is reckoned to hold hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, each worth some $70 at current prices, and there are lots of less high-profile companies who would be willing to suffer some bad publicity for a cut of that prize.
So, the real question Shell’s decision raises is whether the UK government is willing to put its net-zero ambitions ahead of the huge tax revenues the project could deliver and deny a licence to develop the oilfield.
The chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce called for a “reasoned debate” about oil and gas extraction, which he said directly supported more than 120,000 UK jobs.
Russell Borthwick said there was enormous potential for the renewable energy sector in the region but he warned against a “knee jerk” reaction to climate change.
He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “If we get this wrong, all of those people and organisations demanding a premature end to domestic oil and gas production might want to be able to reflect back to their role in scripting a repeat of what happened to our mining communities in the 1980s.”
The fallout from the 1984/85 miners strike and the long term decline of UK coal mining left many communities facing high unemployment and other problems that were still being felt decades later.
Businessman Sir Ian Wood chairs Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone, a not-for-profit company set up to support the shift to renewable energy. He said: “We must not create an adverse investment environment at this crucial moment in our energy transition journey.
“The future prosperity of our region and the country’s ability to meet net zero, depends on it.”
The Cambo oil field
Located in the North Atlantic, about 125km (75 miles) west of the Shetland islands.
Contains an estimated 800 million barrels of oil.
The exploration licence dates back to 2001, but UK government must approve drilling – which could start as early as 2022.
Major stakeholder is Siccar Point Energy, with a 70% stake, backed by private equity firm investors.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie welcomed Shell’s announcement and said it made it less likely Cambo would go ahead in the “near term”.
“It’s absurd to suggest that our transition to a zero carbon economy depends on drilling for ever more oil and gas,” he said.
He said Scotland had a quarter of Europe’s wind energy potential, and that investment should be focused on renewables instead.
“We could be exporting renewable resources and make that the backbone of Scotland’s economy,” he told the BBC.
He continued: “The idea of keeping global warming below 2 degrees and 1.5 degrees if we possibly can – this is not optional.
“This is not a normal political choice. This is mission critical for our survival.
“It is humanity’s only survival strategy and we need to invest now in the transition that has to be fair, but it has to be fast.”
Activists at the COP26 summit called for the Cambo development to be blocked
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, now in a power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens, has recently signalled her opposition to Cambo.
“The presumption would be that Cambo could not and should not pass any rigorous climate assessment,” she told MSPs.
The UK government, which makes the final decision on whether to allow drilling, insists an environmental impact assessment will be carried out but appears far more supportive: Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said the new field should “100%” get the go-ahead.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.29: As the UK Government publishes Sir Peter Hendy’s final report of the Union Connectivity Review, the Prime Minister has underlined the importance of better connections – on both local and national transport networks – to bring all UK communities within closer reach of social and economic opportunities.
With some of the busiest travel corridors for both passengers and freight, strengthening transport connections between Scotland and the rest of the UK is critical to maximise the potential for growth and jobs.
Sir Peter Hendy’s review identifies key areas where we can boost rail, road and air links to better support Scottish businesses and communities, and we will work closely with the Scottish Government to take these proposals forward in ways that will bring our towns and cities even closer together.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps:
Improved connections between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom are essential for driving economic growth, forging relations, and bringing communities closer together.
I am indebted to Sir Peter for his work. We will consider his recommendations carefully, engage closely with the Scottish Government, and work collegiately to ensure these proposals strengthen the ties that bind us, now and for the future.
The proposals for Scotland include upgrades to the West Coast Main Line, increasing capacity and cutting journey times between Scotland and London, the Midlands and North West England, which are key for both communities and businesses.
Another recommendation is for the UK and Scottish Governments to work together on developing an assessment of the East Coast road and rail transport corridor from North East England to South East Scotland, including improvements on the East Coast Main Line and the A1.
It also includes offering the Scottish Government new funding to support the upgrade of the A75 making journeys between Northern Ireland and Great Britain quicker and easier.
This would provide a major boost for jobs and further consolidate the UK Government’s commitment to improving cross-border connectivity.
The Review also encourages the Scottish Government to improve the A77 to support journeys between Belfast, Glasgow, and Aberdeen.
Independent Chair of the Union Connectivity Review, Sir Peter Hendy, said:
My recommendations provide comprehensive, achievable and clear plans forward to better connect the whole of the United Kingdom, leading to more growth, jobs, housing and social cohesion.
I welcome the enthusiasm shown by the Prime Minister and the Government to my final report and I look forward to their formal response to my recommendations, which aim to spread opportunity and prosperity right across the United Kingdom.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:
I thank Sir Peter for his work and I believe his central recommendation – the creation of a UK strategic transport network – lays the foundation for linking up the home nations much more effectively, boosting our economy and levelling up opportunity around the country.
His specific proposals for upgrades to the A75 and the West Coast Main Line, plus rail and road improvements on the east coast corridor from North East England to South East Scotland will be welcomed by businesses, commuters and leisure travellers alike. As will him encouraging the Scottish Government to improve the A77 to support journeys between Belfast, Glasgow, and Aberdeen.
Our task is now to turn the vision into real improvements. I urge the Scottish Government to work with us to make that happen so we can deliver the benefits travellers want and businesses need.
The independent Union Connectivity Review was launched in October 2020, led by Sir Peter Hendy CBE, to undertake how a detailed review of the quality and availability of transport infrastructure across the UK can support economic growth and quality of life.
The recommendations published today include:
The UK Government should design and implement UKNET – a strategic transport network for the whole of the UK, with funding commitments targeted at parts of the network that require the most improvements;
Improvements should be planned using multimodal corridors, which should be appraised on their ability to support the levelling up and net zero agenda;
The UK Government should support the development of sustainable aviation fuel plants in parts of the United Kingdom that are particularly reliant on aviation for domestic connectivity.
The UK Government will now carefully consider the Union Connectivity Review’s recommendations in detail, and has invited the Scottish Government to work together to identify the solutions which work best for the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK, and make tangible and meaningful progress as swiftly as possible.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.27: The Met Office had issued a red wind warning for parts of north-east England which expired early on Saturday, but the forecaster said amber and yellow warnings for wind remained in place across large swathes of the country.
#AceWeatherDesk says according to local UK media news sources at least two people were killed during #StormArwen as 100mph gusts cause major disruption across the country last night PA Media
A few inches of snow also fell across Scotland and parts of England, with more expected during the morning.
At least two people died in different parts of the country as trees were blown over.
#StormArwen has brought some damaging gusts of wind across a wide swathe of the United Kingdom overnight🌬️
Marco Petagna, a Met Office forecaster, told the PA news agency: “We’ve seen some pretty severe gusts overnight with the highest speeds hitting 98mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland.
“Elsewhere, exposed sites in Scotland and Northern Ireland also surpassed 90mph, with 70-80mph seen more widely in the north of the UK, though parts of southern England and Wales also felt the effects of the storm.
“This has been coupled with a few inches of snow which has fallen in some areas.
“In the higher ground areas of Scotland we expected to see up to 15cm falling but the strong winds meant the snow blew around and created a blizzard in some parts.”
Cumbria Police said a man from Lancaster died in Ambleside after a tree fell on him just before 11pm on Friday.
In Northern Ireland, a man was killed when his car was hit by a falling tree in County Antrim on Friday.
Wind speeds reached 87mph in Orlock Head, Co Down.
Inverbervie on the north-east coast of Scotland had gusts of 78mph, while Aberporth in Wales saw speeds of 77mph.
People have been advised to be wary of travelling on Saturday, as train networks across the UK reported disruption to services.
Please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL today, or tomorrow, north of York. There is significant damage to the network due to the extreme weather, and we will NOT be able to transport customers, specifically between Newcastle and Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/LOMUBM7gSH— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) November 27, 2021
ScotRail services were disrupted between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, Dunblane and Stirling after a barn was blown on to the line close to Polmont, near Falkirk.
TransPennine Express customers were urged not to travel, with services between Newcastle and Edinburgh cancelled.
South Western Railway expected disruption on Saturday morning due to “multiple trees and obstructions blocking the railway”, while London North East Railway warned customers not to travel north of York due to “significant damage”.
Dorset Council reported that trees and power cables had fallen on roads in the area, while road closures were reported more widely in the worst-affected parts of northern England and Scotland.
Social media footage appeared to show a number of lorries and cars stuck on roads where snow had fallen, with ploughs being deployed in a number of areas.
Homes across all parts of the UK were damaged as the gusts struck.
It came as Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas.
A number of councils in Scotland also reported power cuts, and Electricity North West responded to a high number of cuts affecting thousands of properties in Cumbria and Lancashire.
Mr Petagna said: “There has been plenty of disruption caused by these severe gales, stretching down from south-west England and as far as northern parts of Scotland.
“But I have to say we’ve seen the worst of the weather and things will start to fizzle out over Saturday, though people will still see snow and fairly strong gales.”
Amber wind warnings are in place for Saturday morning in south-west and north-east England, while a yellow warning stretches across central England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is expected to last until 6pm.
It means people should expect gusts in excess of 70mph, bringing further disruption with more power cuts, flying debris and travel delays.
The Met Office warned that north-east and north-west England, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday.
Snow warnings remain in place across large parts of England, including the South East, and Scotland as a cold northerly airflow moves across the country, with up to 5cm expected.
Mr Petagna said a yellow warning for ice is likely to be issued for northern England and Scotland on Saturday.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.21: They certainly kept US busy and now Glasgow is over, and we hope you’ve had a bit of time to recover. We thought we’d send out a summary of the work we’ve done over the past few weeks.
#AceDailyNews CAT’s Glasgow #ClimateChange Summary Report: First, just ahead of COP26, on 28 October we released, with a number of partners, the State of the Climate Action report for 2021, that identifies 40 indicators across key sectors that must transform to address the climate crisis, and assesses how current trends will impact how much work remains to be done by 2030 and 2050 to deliver a zero-carbon world in time.
The news wasn’t great, but there are some areas showing good signs.
There was a buzz of excitement when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would aim for net zero by 2070, along with a new set of targets. We saw China and the US submit their Long Term Strategies (LTS). We rated the US net zero target as “average” and that of China as “poor”.
We got to work and assessed India’s new target. At most, it will only drive minor reductions in real world emissions as the country is already on a pathway to more than meet most of its targets. Without any further details, we couldn’t assess the net zero target, so have rated it “target information incomplete.” . Shortly before COP, we assessed green recovery for India. We identified India’s substantial potential to reduce national emissions through reducing coal use and scaling up renewable energy by 2030 with benefits to its economy and health. However, to achieve this and even further emissions reductions, India would need significant external support.
There were other, last-minute NDC updates, such as that from New Zealand, which managed an extraordinary feat of creative accounting that transformed a 22% reduction by 2030 into 50%, and Australia who refused to increase their 2030 target at all, instead opting for a net zero target that turns out not to reach net zero at all.
Toward the end of the first week of Glasgow, the IEA released it assessment of all net zero targets, arguing that they would bring global warming down to 1.8˚C. But just how real was that assessment?
We set the record straight on Tuesday 9 November when we released our global update, bringing the hype back to reality: without strong near-term 2030 targets, we won’t make it to net zero. Glasgow, we argued, has a credibility gap: if all governments achieved their current 2030 pledges, we’ll get 2.4˚C of warming by 2100, and if nobody did anything more than what they’re doing today (our policies & action pathway), we’re heading to 2.7˚C.
While yes, we, too, got the 1.8˚C under our “optimistic” scenario, it is indeed just that: highly optimistic, and no reason for complacency. See the full update here. We also wrote an article for The Guardian summarising our findings.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.18: During our investigation we met Tony who helped carry out the scam and did not even know he was doing it: He had just moved to Scotland with his pregnant wife and child and was looking for work.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Scotland News Report: The students losing thousands in an Edinburgh rental scam: By Chris Clements of Social affairs correspondent, BBC Scotland
He said: “Police Scotland is acutely aware that criminals will take any opportunity to exploit any situation for their own gain. We would ask the public to continue to be mindful and to call 101 if they have any concerns that you may be the victim of a scam.”The spokesman said advice was available on its website.
Trawling through job adverts online, the 40-year-old found one for a viewing agent in Edinburgh’s frantic rental market.
Within days, Tony was on a trial shift for a boss he had never met, showing potential tenants around an immaculate but affordable flat next to the Royal Mile.
However, what he didn’t know was that his new boss didn’t exist, the property was owned by someone else and he was playing an unwitting role in a scam fleecing students out of thousands.
BBC Scotland is giving full details of the scam so people can avoid falling prey to similar cons.
‘Too good to be true’
Hamish Drain had been looking for a flat in the city for months
On Saturday 2 October, Hamish Drain and his friend Erik were invited to a 21:00 viewing at a flat in Old Fishmarket Close.
Hamish, a mechanical engineering student at Heriot-Watt University, had been looking for a flat in the city since August.
The 21-year-old told BBC Scotland’s The Nine that his friend had spotted this property on Facebook Marketplace, where flats for rent in the city are advertised.
The advert told them they would pay £950 per month for rent and bills. It was an attractive price in a city where average rent alone for two-bedroom flats is £1,041.
Hamish had arranged the viewing with the flat’s apparent landlord, who called himself “William Wilson”.
“He sent us a landlord registration number, a limited company – all the things that made us think it was a legitimate property,” Hamish said.
After being shown around the flat by Tony, Hamish and his friend paid £2,300 to Wilson by bank transfer to secure it.
But when the landlord stopped replying to his emails, he realised he’d been duped.
“It did seem too good to be true,” Hamish said.
“We were really quite angry about it because it was a lot of money for us. A fair chunk of our savings each, so it was quite upsetting.”
The fake passport used by William Wilson (redactions by BBC)
The fraudster was able to take advantage of Edinburgh’s abundance of short-term lets made available via online booking platforms. In 2019, one in eight homes in the city centre were listed on Airbnb, according to the Scottish government.
The flat used in this scam is owned by a private company providing accommodation for tourists. Photos of the furnished property are used in online advertising.
It was these photos that the scammer calling himself Wilson harvested before reposting them with his own advert on Facebook Marketplace.
He lured potential tenants with low prices and promises of a home “at the heart of the Royal Mile within a short walk from all local amenities”.
To make it more convincing, he sent those rushing to secure the property a list of documents, including Registers of Scotland paperwork and a fake passport for a William Wilson.
But the ownership papers and bank statements didn’t match. His landlord number was linked to a different business in Orkney.
The passport was also suspect – its unique number wasn’t visible and it had what looked like an electronic signature.
However, those who fell for his trick didn’t notice until it was too late.
In some variations of this scam, a fraudster may ask for money upfront before a viewing. Some unsuspecting customers may send money only to find out later they had been scammed.
However, in this case, Wilson played it differently.
He gained access to the property on 2 and 3 October – BBC Scotland could not confirm whether he legitimately booked the property – before casting his net for someone looking for quick work.
‘It was a very easy sell’
Photos of the furnished property are used in online advertising
After responding to the job ad, Tony was to meet Wilson’s assistant “Abigail” at the flat to pick up the keys and start his trial shift.
He told BBC Scotland there was a lot of “back and forth” by text.
He said: “We didn’t speak on the phone which was quite unusual, but I thought maybe this is just how things are now with the gig economy – you turn up, you do the job.
“There was no reason to think anything was dodgy at that point.”
Before he arrived, however, Tony received a text from Wilson telling him Abigail wasn’t going to make it. Instead, he was left with a code for a lock box where he found the keys to the flat.
He said: “I texted all the people who were going to come and view the place. I started doing the viewings and it was all pretty straightforward, showing them round this nice two-bedroom flat near the Royal Mile. It was a very easy sell.
“A lot of the people who were viewing were very keen on the property. I would say over 50% were students. They were all very interested because it was just a nice flat and it was a very good price as well.”
After 11 viewings on the Saturday, Tony was paid £75 and invited back for a second shift on Sunday. Ten more people turned up.
He added: “I was quite enjoying the job, meeting these people and showing them around.”
‘Everything looked legit – until it wasn’t’
The two-bedroom flat was just of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile
Mary – who asked to use a pseudonym – is from the United States and is a recent business graduate at Heriot-Watt University.
She viewed the flat on the Sunday afternoon in the hope of moving in with her undergraduate friend, who is currently studying at the same university remotely from England.
“Everything looked really nice,” the 22-year-old said.
“It was in great shape and very modern as well. And for the price it was being offered for, for us, we thought it was quite a steal.”
She quickly paid Wilson the £2,300 to secure the property and signed a tenancy agreement but admitted skimming over the finer details in the documents.
“Back then, we had no right to believe it was remotely a scam, or anything that could resemble one, because we saw the flat, we were in contact with the person who showed us the flat,” she said.
“Everything looked legit, until all of a sudden it wasn’t.”
Wilson went quiet for days after receiving the cash and stopped responding to emails. Mary and her friend soon discovered the inconsistencies in the paperwork and understood they had been scammed.
She said: “I don’t have the most amount of money in my account. And the money that I did have, I got from working really hard as a waitress over the summer before my graduate job started.
“For me, it felt like a bit of an attack on my progress so far, and also my choice to be in this country.
“I’ve spent so much time and energy to try and stay here and it kind of felt like someone was telling me not to stay here for whatever reason.”
‘I felt sick’
Tony received thanks for helping people secure the flat
In the days after his shifts, Tony received a message of thanks from someone who thought they’d secured the property.
“The person who contacted me was staying in a hotel because they had nowhere to live basically,” he said. “So I was quite pleased they got the place.”
Then a few days later he got a text from someone else who’d viewed the property saying they had also been offered a contract for the place.
“I thought that was a bit strange but that maybe the other one fell through,” Tony said.
“And then, a few days after that, someone else called me and said they had some questions and said that things didn’t quite add up.
“That was when the alarm bells started to ring.”
After failing to reach Wilson, Tony realised that he’d been an unwitting participant in a fraud.
He was in a tricky situation.
He said: “On one side, this criminal has my information, and then on the other side, all these people who viewed would think I’m potentially a criminal as well.
“I felt sick for a while. I had basically shown all these people around and I’d been complicit in a scam without realising it.
“I’d build rapport with these people and I was all very friendly and nice with them and some of them lost thousands. It was over two grand for the deposit and the month’s rent.
“I felt like I’d sleepwalked into this. I just saw the advert, he’d lured me in with the promise of more work and I helped him rip off all these people.”
Hamish, Tony and Mary have all reported the incident to the police.
BBC Scotland has attempted to contact the real owners of the short-term let in Old Fishmarket Close for comment. We were unable to reach the owner of the landlord registration number.
There is no suggestion either had any involvement in Wilson’s scheme.
‘Sofa-surfing to access education’
Edinburgh has experienced a growth in short term lets but also has shortage of affordable housing
Edinburgh has a set of conditions that allowed a scam like Wilson’s to work so effectively.
While it has experienced a growth in short-term lets, it also has a shortage of affordable housing.
Rents have risen faster there than in any other part of Scotland – a one-bedroom flat in the city now averages at £799 a month.
The City of Edinburgh Council is gathering evidence to introduce a rent pressure zone in the city centre. It is also consulting on new planning rules for short-term lets but Scotland-wide legislation has been delayed.
Campaigners say the high rental prices mean students looking to live in the city while studying are “vulnerable to scams, profiteering landlords and unsafe accommodation”.
Matt Crilly, president of NUS Scotland, called on the Scottish government to introduce a new strategy for student housing.
He said: “The current housing crisis in parts of Scotland has left many students homeless with students pushed to look on unregulated websites for accommodation and others staying in hostels and sofa-surfing just to access their education.
“With new students due to arrive at many universities in January, there is a risk the crisis will be exacerbated. We urgently need the Scottish government to deliver on their promise of a student housing strategy for Scotland and ensure every student has access to safe, affordable housing.”
‘Real struggle for property’
Thomas managed to spot Wilson’s scheme before he handed over any money
While Hamish managed to get his money back from his bank, Mary is so far still out of pocket.
Meanwhile, law student Thomas Rofe managed to spot Wilson’s scheme before he handed over any money.
But just a week later, he was scammed out of £450 after a fake landlord asked for money upfront to view another property. His mum sent the money but no viewing was ever arranged.
The 23-year-old is now renting a small two-bedroom tenement flat in Marchmont, where the kitchen is in the living room. It costs Thomas and his flatmate £1,350 a month.
“The more and more you look into, the more you hear of people falling victim to these things recently,” he said.
“It does seem that people have noticed there is a real struggle for property, not just in Edinburgh but all over Scotland, and there are people who are willing to take advantage of that to gain as much money as they can.”
Meta, the company that runs Facebook, said it was sorry to hear that Hamish was misled and that it encouraged people to report sophisticated scams to the police.
A spokeswoman said: “We’ve dedicated significant resources to tackle the industry-wide issue of online scams by working to detect and remove scam ads and fraudulent behaviour.
“We continue to invest in new technologies and methods to protect people, and have donated £3m to Citizens Advice to deliver a UK Scam Action Programme which raises awareness of online scams and helps victims.”
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed that an investigation was under way after officers received reports of potentially fraudulent activity involving flats on Old Fishmarket Close and elsewhere in Edinburgh.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.13: The UK government says it is committed to making the event “carbon neutral” but a new report suggests its emissions will be more than double those from the previous summit in Madrid……
#AceDailyNews says according to How green was the #COP26 climate summit? ………According to an initial assessment report for the UK government the carbon emissions are expected to reach the equivalent of 102,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide double from previous COP25 in Madrid ……
A report into the summit shows the UK government purchased “carbon offsets” to support five global projects which reduced emissions in India, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
More delegates, more emissions
That is similar to the annual emissions from about 10,000 UK households.
The figure for COP26 is double the emissions from the last climate summit in Madrid in 2019.
Aviation analytics company Cirium told the BBC’s Reality Check there was a total of 76 flights involving private jets, or VIP flights, arriving in and around Glasgow in the four days leading up to 1 November.
Powering the venue
The report, prepared for the government by sustainability consultant Arup, says that it is the “preliminary baseline assessment” for COP26 and it does not breakdown the figures for other emissions.
Among the other factors included in the assessment is “energy, water and waste management” at the SEC campus where the summit is being held.
According to the Arup report, a new mains power supply was installed at the SEC to provide power for temporary buildings to avoid the use of generators, except for backup power in certain circumstances.
It said energy supply during the event would also use a renewable energy tariff.
Transportation to and from venues
Electric shuttle buses take to the streets of Glasgow for COP26
Low carbon transport including public transport and low-carbon vehicles were also promoted by COP organisers.
Delegates to the blue zone were given public transport travel cards and a conference shuttle bus operated during the event using an electric fleet.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.11: Diplomats from the nearly 200 countries represented at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow will on Wednesday begin to negotiate the text hoping to strike a final deal before the conference comes to a close on Friday.
#AceDailyNews says heres the UPDATED: First draft of #COP26 climate deal is released: The seven-page document is the first version of the agreement that will outline how countries plan to cut emissions and keep global warming below 1.5°C…….This draft text isn’t the end of the story yet in Glasgow but it marks the beginning of the end for the summit.
The first draft of a COP26 agreement has been published.
Poorer, climate-vulnerable countries have called for other nations to cap warming at 1.5°C – a temperature increase scientists say is just short of calamitous.
The push for more regular reviews of climate plans is seen as necessary because countries’ current 2030 pledges would lead to 2.4°C of warming.
The draft, which the UN released just before 6 am UK time, also calls on countries to “accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels,” a demand of climate change campaigners.
It also urges developed countries to “urgently scale up” financial support for developing countries, responding to their need to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Loss and damage, one of the key themes from this week, does get a mention in the main text but without many details on how this will be addressed.
The draft ticks all of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s boxes on his pre-COP checklist with mentions of coal, cars, cash and trees. But critics say it is notably light on the last point with financial pledges lacking specifics.
Also conspicuous in their absence are references to a phase-out of fossil fuel beyond just coal.
UNEP director, Inger Anderson has also acknowledged that the commitments in the deal meet the UN’s criteria for success in Glasgow.
This is because the draft secures $100 billion in climate funding for vulnerable nations, half of that going to adaption for the worst impacts of global warming, and includes pledges to half greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Campaigners are concerned
Campaigners are concerned because usually the first draft of a COP deal starts ambitious and is then “watered down” as countries negotiate.
Greenpeace says that this draft is already “exceptionally weak”.
“To keep 1.5 alive, four words must be added: ‘fossil fuels phase out’, and countries must come back next year to close the gap,” says Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International.
Negotiators shouldn’t even think about leaving Glasgow until they’ve agreed a deal that meets the moment.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.10: It calculates that the world is heading for 2.4C of warming, far more than the 1.5C limit nations committed to.………………..But the prediction contrasts with optimism at the UN meeting last week, following a series of big announcements that included a vow to stop deforestation.
The projection comes as the UK’s Met Office warns that a billion people could be affected by fatal heat and humidity if the global average temperature rises by 2C above pre-industrial levels.
The report by Climate Action Tracker looks at promises made by governments before and during COP26.
It concludes that, in 2030, the greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet will still be twice as high as necessary for keeping temperature rise below 1.5C degree.
Scientists say that limiting warming to 1.5C will prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change from happening.
The COP summit held in Paris in 2015 laid out a plan for avoiding dangerous climate change which included “pursuing efforts” to keep warming under 1.5C.
But when governments’ actual policies – rather than pledges – are analysed, the world’s projected warming is 2.7C by 2100, suggests Climate Action Tracker. The Tracker is backed by a number of organisations including the prestigious Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
“This new calculation is like a telescope trained on an asteroid heading for Earth. It’s a devastating report that in any sane world would cause governments in Glasgow to immediately set aside their differences and work with uncompromising vigour for a deal to save our common future,” said Greenpeace International’s executive director Jennifer Morgan.
However, the world’s outlook has improved since the Paris climate summit in 2015 when Climate Action Tracker estimated the policies put the planet on track to warm by 3.6C.
Climate Action Tracker blames “stalled momentum” from governments for limited progress towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
It says new promises by the US and China to reach net zero have slightly improved its forecasting on temperature rises. But it concludes that the quality of most government’s plans to limit climate change is very low.
Reaching net zero involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, then balancing out any remaining releases by, for example, planting trees – which remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
More than 140 governments have promised to reach net zero, covering 90% of global emissions.
But Climate Action Tracker says only a handful have plans in place to reach the goal. It analysed the policies of 40 countries and concluded that only a small number are rated “acceptable”, covering a fraction of the world’s emissions.
“If they have no plans as to how to get there, and their 2030 targets are as low as so many of them are, then frankly, these net zero targets are just lip service to real climate action,” said Bill Hare, chief executive of Climate Analytics, one of the groups behind the Tracker.
The main driver of the gap between promises and projections is continued coal and gas production, the organisation concludes.
A false dawn
With one sharp jab, this Climate Action Tracker report has punctured the balloon of optimism that’s been swelling since the start of this conference.
For days now, a number of observers, including the formerly conservative International Energy Agency, have been pushing a narrative that the new net zero goals from countries like India plus the long list of announcements made here in Glasgow had pushed the prospective temperature rise this century down to 1.8C.
That seemed like huge progress from the 2.7C that the UN Environment Programme had announced at the start of the conference.
So how has the confusion come about?
The problem comes from the inclusion of long-term pledges to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
More than 140 countries, covering 90% of global emissions have announced a mid-century-ish carbon neutrality target – China’s is 2060, India’s 2070.
According to the CAT, these goals are giving “false hope”.
Based on what countries have put on the table for 2030, the world is set to warm by 2.4C by 2100. That picture gets a bit better if you include the US’s and China’s long-term targets, which reduces the temperature to 2.1C.
If every country implemented their long-term net zeroes, then 1.8C could indeed be possible.
But the reality is that, without a serious plan for 2030, most of these longer-term goals will not be realised.
That’s why the real focus for the negotiators here must be on the actions that countries take over the next nine years.
Any deal agreed here will need to have a strong and credible pathway for the next decade. Otherwise Glasgow will be judged a failure.
What has been agreed at COP26?
The summit is still negotiating a deal that all 197 countries will agree on. But a series of side deals were announced last week:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.06: But emissions of the poorest 50% will continue to be below climate goals: A tiny elite appear to have a free pass to pollute,” says Naftoke Dabi at Oxfam: The charity commissioned the study from the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Institute for European Environmental Policy: Their over-sized emissions are fuelling extreme weather around the world and jeopardising the international goal of limiting global heating.”
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Population Report: #COP26 emissions of rich nations will put climate goals at risk according to new study: The research, carried out by two European environmental agencies, comes as world leaders meet at the climate conference in Glasgow: A recent study that tracked the air travel of celebrities via their social media accounts found some emitted over a thousand tonnes a year ….
BBC World: By Stephanie Hegarty Population correspondent
Climate scientists warn that there is a finite amount of greenhouse gases that we can continue to release into the atmosphere before the planet warms to more than 1.5C from pre-industrial levels. By 2030, they say, we need to only emit as much carbon as the planet can absorb.
If this amount were split evenly and every adult on the planet had a share, by 2030 we could each emit 2.3 tonnes of CO2 every year.
The super-rich – many of whom have multiple homes, private jets and superyachts – emit a lot more than others.
But the global 1% are not just billionaires, or even millionaires – it includes anyone earning over $172,000.
This study also looked at the world’s richest 10% – anyone earning over $55,000 – and found emissions were still high. The richest 10% will emit nine times more carbon than their share.
Traci Curth’s family has three cars, which she says is normal for most American families
One example of people in the top 10% is the Curths, a family of four in the suburbs of Toledo, Ohio. Traci Curth, her husband and her teenage daughter each drive a car.
“The suburb I live in, that’s pretty much how everyone gets around,” says Traci.
Toledo has hot summers and cold winters, so the air-conditioning is on when the heating isn’t. The family has a freezer loaded with chicken breasts and mince beef – they eat meat about four or five times a week.
“I would say that’s pretty normal for most American families,” says Traci.
Togonin, an English teacher and environmental educator, doesn’t own a car and goes to work on moped
For English teacher Togonin Severin Togo in Kati, Mali, life is quite different.
Like 80% of people in the world he doesn’t have a car – he travels to work on his moped.
“Cars are considered to be for rich people,” he says.
He gave up meat recently, but before that he ate it just two or three times a week. And – like 90% of people around the world – he’s never been on an aeroplane.
But he does worry about emissions from people burning waste in his city, where the waste management system is not functional, as well as the inefficient wood and gas burners used for cooking.
Oxfam’s report found that it’s the 40% in the middle doing the most to curb emissions.
While their carbon footprint rose significantly between 1990 and 2015, it is set to drop, thanks to changes being made at government level in sectors like transport and energy since the Paris climate agreement in 2015.
But governments need to do more, Oxfam’s Naftoke Dabi says, calling for bans and taxes on “carbon-intensive luxury goods, such as mega-mansions, SUVs or space tourism”.
“They need to tackle the emissions of the richest because they’re hugely responsible for the climate crisis, and it’s the poorest that are paying the highest price,” she says.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.04: Stirling-based Mr Cameron has been studying snow patches in Scotland for 25 years and is author of the book The Vanishing Ice, which he describes as a “lament” to snow and ice that lingers high in Scotland’s hills.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Scotland Report: Dubbed the Sphinx, the patch on remote Braeriach in the Cairngorms has melted away more frequently in the last 18 years: Snow patch expert Iain Cameron said climate change was a likely factor: According to records, the Sphinx previously melted fully in 1933, 1959, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2017 and 2018: Before 1933, it is thought to have last melted completely in the 1700s:
The Sphinx had shrunk to the size of an A4 piece of paper in recent weeks before finally disappearing in mild weather.
He worked alongside the late Dr Adam Watson, a biologist dubbed Mr Cairngorms because of his many years studying the mountains.
Some of Dr Watson’s research on the Sphinx drew on information handed down by generations of people who worked and visited the Cairngorms, which suggests the patch may have only melted a few times in the last 300 years.
From the 1840s the Scottish Mountaineering Club began noting the fortunes of the patch, and more recently scientists and ecologists have gathered information.
Mr Cameron told BBC Scotland that historically the Sphinx was the UK’s “most durable” snow patch.
But he said: “That is being challenged because it is disappearing more often.”
A report published last year warned of declining snow cover in the Cairngorms
Mr Cameron said warmer weather due to climate change “seemed to be the logical” explanation for the increased rate of melting.
He added that the conditions were affecting snowy areas high on other Scottish mountains including in the Ben Nevis range in Lochaber.
Aonach Beag, near Ben Nevis, also has a patch of snow that has often survived from one winter to another.
But Mr Cameron said: “What we are seeing from research are smaller and fewer patches of snow: Less snow is falling now in winter than in the 1980s and even the 1990s.”Separately from Mr Cameron’s research, a report commissioned by Cairngorms National Park Authority and published last year said declining snow cover, and fewer days when it snowed had been observed on Cairngorm mountain since the winter of 1983-84: Researchers also noted a trend for increasingly warmer weather since the 1960s, and suggested that by the 2080s there would be some years with very little or no snow at all on Cairngorm.
Lauren McCallum, of international climate change campaign group Protect Our Winters, said the Cairngorms – and wider world – needed to be protected from further rises in temperature: She said: “We have to maintain a healthy temperature for our ecosystems and communities to survive.”
The Sphinx lies in Garbh Choire Mor, a hollow known as a corrie formed by ice or a glacier during the last ice age, on 1,296m (4,252ft) Braeriach – Britain’s third highest mountain.
Garbh Choire Mor is described as Scotland’s snowiest corrie because of the amount of snow it can hold even through summer months.
The Sphinx is the name of a climbing route near the snow patch.
The COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow in November is seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control. Almost 200 countries are being asked for their plans to cut emissions, and it could lead to major changes to our everyday lives.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.03: Local estimates say upwards of 400 aircraft were used to ferry their human cargo in before taking off again empty and flying around 40 miles to find open space to park for the duration of the event.
#AceDailyNews says according to media reports Glasgow Climate #COP26 Conference Draws 400+ Private Jets in just 48Hrs some flying out with NOT ONE person onboard “Conservative predictions suggest the fleet of private jets arriving will blast out 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in total – equivalent to the amount consumed by more than 1,600 Britons in a year.”
According to the MailOnline, “at least 52 private jets landing at Glasgow – while estimates put the total number flying in for the conference at 400,’ the site reported.
He reportedly arrived in a $65 million Gulfstream followed by dozens of others, all with passengers eager to discuss the global environment and the lasting damage claimed to be caused by those taking flights around the planet.
Prince Charles is believed to have winged in from the G20 meeting in Rome where he appeared alongside Boris Johnson.
It is thought he flew via RAF Brize Norton, where he may have picked up the Duchess of Cornwall, the Timesreports, replicating some of the trips taken by his son over the past few years as he tours the world to warn of impending climate doom.
A Clarence House spokesman defended the prince’s decision to fly to the climate conference. He said:
His Royal Highness has personally campaigned for a shift towards sustainable aviation fuel and would only undertake travel to Rome when it was agreed that sustainable fuel would be used in the plane. Wherever possible, and recognising the challenges of supply, the intention is that sustainable fuel will increasingly be part of royal travel plans from now on.
Matt Finch, of the Transport and Environment campaign group, pointed to the hypocrisy of it all. He outlined “the average private jet — and we are not talking Air Force One — emits two tonnes of CO2 for every hour in flight. It can’t be stressed enough how bad private jets are for the environment, it is the worst way to travel, by miles.”
Working class Americans do not need lectures about global warming from rich Elites who own PRIVATE JETS! https://t.co/zuxzxd2oWn
Finch then explained how research has found most journeys could easily be completed on scheduled flights. “Private jets are very prestigious but it is difficult to avoid the hypocrisy of using one while claiming to be fighting climate change,” he added.
The Times estimated U.S. President Joe Biden alone will have generated 2.2 million pounds of C02 in reaching the conference.
His expansive entourage consists of a fleet of four planes, as well as his Marine One helicopter and a vast motorcade including The Beast and numerous SUVs.
All are flown ahead of the president so his feet barely touch the ground before he is whisked off to his many appointments.
As for Bezos, the newspaper reported he travelled to Glasgow fresh from celebrating the 66th birthday of Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, on a £2 million-a-week superyacht off the coast of Turkey.
The Microsoft founder was said to have ferried his guests to and from the sprawling vessel by helicopter.
Some 200 nations from around the world have sent delegates to COP26 to discuss how to cut emissions and limit global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5°C.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.31: Thousands of activists are heading to Scotland’s largest city to make their climate change concerns known: Many have walked thousands of miles to join in a procession through the city centre at 14:00: The event is an “opening ceremony” to a series of non-violent protests planned in Glasgow, and around the world, during the United Nations convention.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Scotland on Saturday afternoon faith groups and pilgrims lead Glasgow #COP26 climate protests before it even begins ….Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) Faith, artists and other pilgrimage groups will converge at the McLennan Arch on Glasgow Green, where XR Scotland’s “Blue Rebels” will form a guard of honour for the pilgrims.
The bells at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow will lead a UK-wide toll from 18:00, offering a traditional warning to humanity to “pay heed to the climate crisis”.
Those arriving in the city include Marcha Glasgow, a group of Spanish activists who took a ferry from Bilbao to Portsmouth to embark on a 30-day hike to Glasgow.
Camino to COP26 members have walked from London and Bristol to Glasgow in just under two months.
Young Christian Climate Network activists arrived in the city on Saturday after walking 1,200 miles from Cornwall.
Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice arrived in Glasgow from Poland, Sweden and Germany and Pilgrimage for COP26 has walked from Dunbar to Glasgow.
Glasgow-based artists Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich will be parading the Serpent of Capitalism, a 30m (100ft) sculptural artwork alongside the pilgrimage groups.
‘Spiritual duty of care’
Alex Cochrane, of XR Glasgow, said: “COP26 must end a growing crime against humanity by wealthy governments where the global south are sacrificed to bear the brunt of the global north’s affluent, carbon-intensive lifestyles.
“We welcome the pilgrims of faith – and no faith – who are walking to COP26 to demand governments also walk the walk for the global south.”
Yaz Ashmawi, of XR Pilgrim, said: “Countries around the world are already suffering the consequences of our historic emissions in the west, and small island states like the Maldives will be submerged by rising seas if no immediate action is taken on the climate.
“As people of faith we have a spiritual duty of care to those who are less fortunate than us, so we have been using this walk to raise money for activists in financially disadvantaged countries that are already impacted, to empower them to join this conversation themselves.”
Up to 30,000 people will descend on Scotland’s largest city over a two-week period.
ReutersOcean Rebellion arrived early to stage its “visual performances” ahead of the summit
Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, Scotland’s most senior police officer, said his force would respond “swiftly and robustly” to protesters who tried to disrupt the summit.
He said the force – together with 7,000 officers from other parts of the UK who have been deployed to Scotland to help police COP26 – was “ready for the challenges that lie ahead”.
Dramatic protests from other groups have already begun in other parts of the city.
Sing The Change brought choirs together in George Square to sing an arrangement of Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World.
Four XR protesters locked themselves to the Memorial Gates at the University of Glasgow on Friday to demand that the establishment adopt the Green New Deal – a climate strategy developed by students and staff at the university.
Getty ImagesOcean Rebellion have been protesting about the harm done to the sea
Ocean Rebellion activists poured “oil” in front of Glasgow’s Cop26 venue in protest ahead of the event.
Andrew Darnton, an Ocean Rebellion activist and climate change researcher, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme his group had arrived in Glasgow early to get media coverage before the summit began, and had been warmly welcomed by the people of Glasgow.
They use “striking visual performances”, such as setting fire to their boats or pools of dead mermaids, to convey their message about blue carbon – how the seas store carbon.
“We are bringing people news about the state of the seas and the degradation of the oceans and pointing out how important that is in relation to getting any kind of meaningful progress on cutting carbon,” Mr Darnton said. “You can’t do that without the seas.”
He added: “We’d like people simply to understand that you won’t fix the climate crisis without attending to the ocean.
“Bottom trawling of the ocean, stirring up the ocean bed, produces more carbon in a year that the whole of aviation, the whole of flying, because the seas lock up so much carbon for us. They provide most of our breathable oxygen.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.28: The Chancellor today announced Barnett-based funding for the Scottish Government of £41 billion per year – delivering the largest annual funding settlement, in real terms, since devolution over 20 years ago. This includes a £4.6 billion per year spending boost – as part of a Budget and Spending Review that delivers a stronger economy for the whole of the UK.
#AceDailyNews reports on GOVUK Autumn Budget 2021: Record £41 billion per year for Scotland in budget in the largest annual funding settlement to Scotland since devolution, helping level up across the whole of the UK.
UK Government will provide a record £41 billion per year to the Scottish Government.
Scotland will also benefit from UK-wide support for people and businesses, green jobs and investment to level up opportunities.
Targeted funding will support local projects across Scotland, including road and infrastructure improvements, investment in local communities and funding for businesses.
Rishi Sunak set out a plan to deliver the priorities of the British people by investing in stronger public services, levelling up opportunity, driving business growth and helping working families with the cost of living.
As part of the significant spending plans, Scotland will receive an average of £41 billion per year in Barnett-based funding representing a 2.4% rise in the Scottish Government’s budget each year. The Scottish Government will now receive around £126 per person for every £100 per person of equivalent UK Government spending in England.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said:
This is a budget for the whole of the UK. We’re focused on what matters most to the British people – the health of their loved ones, access to world-class public services, jobs for the future and tackling climate change.
By providing record funding, the Scottish Government can tackle backlogs in the NHS and ensure people in Scotland get the support they need as we recover from the pandemic.
The UK Government continues to level up opportunities across all parts of the UK, with investments in green jobs and high-speed internet access for thousands more homes in Scotland through Project Gigabit.
Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said:
The Budget delivers for people in Scotland, and right across the UK.
The Scottish Government’s block grant, boosted by an additional £4.6 billion a year due to spending in England, means that the funding for the Scottish Government is the highest it has ever been.
It demonstrates our commitment to level up right across the UK. The Budget ushers in an era of real devolution, ensuring money is spent on projects that matter most to people in Scotland. The UK Government made a clear commitment to maintain Scotland’s level of funding following the vote to leave the EU, and we have delivered on that promise. We are taking decisions in the UK rather than in Brussels and dealing directly with local authorities who know their communities best.
From the Knoydart community pub, to Dumbarton town centre and the Granton Gasworks – all these projects will bring real, visible improvements for local communities. Special funding for Glasgow’s iconic Burrell Collection and Extreme E will help drive economic growth and jobs on the back of culture and tourism.
The continuation of the freeze on spirit duty will be a boost to Scotland’s thriving whisky industry.
Over the past 18 months the UK Government has been focused on protecting people’s livelihoods, their incomes, and their jobs. We now need to look to the future, to build a stronger economy for people in all parts of the UK.
Targeted funding in Scotland
On top of the record funding for the Scottish Government, Scotland will benefit from the UK Government’s commitment to invest in people, jobs, communities and businesses.
Targeted projects in Scotland include:
Over £200 million to be invested in Scotland to boost the post-pandemic recovery and enhance the Scottish economy. This will include £172 million of the Levelling Up Fund for 8 important projects including the redevelopment of Inverness Castle, the much-needed renovation of the Westfield Roundabout in Falkirk, and a new marketplace in Aberdeen City Centre, as well as over £1.07 million of the Community Ownership Fund for five projects in Whithorn, Inverie, New Galloway, Kinloch Rannoch and Callander that are protecting valued community assets.
Providing £1.9 billion for farmers and land managers and £42.2 million to support fisheries. Up to £1 million, to support the delivery of a ‘green’ formula E race showcasing Hebridean Green Hydrogen to a global audience.
Expanding the existing trade and investment hub in Edinburgh to grow trade for Scotland.
Up to £3 million to bring world-class art exhibitions to the Burrell Collection in the heart of Glasgow.
As a result of our strong United Kingdom, Scotland will benefit from:
A 50% cut in domestic Air Passenger Duty for flights between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and an additional £22.5 million of new funding in anticipation of the Union Connectivity Review recommendations where we will work with the devolved administrations on improving UK-wide connectivity.
New funding for the British Business Bank to establish a £150 million fund in Scotland, helping Scottish businesses to get the financing they need.
The new £1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund which will support investment directly into Scotland.
A record £20 billion by 2024-25 in Research and Development supporting innovation in Scotland.
Confirmation that total funding will at a minimum match the size of EU Funds in Scotland, each year through the over £2.6bn UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will invest in skills, people, businesses, and communities, including through ‘Multiply’, a new adult numeracy programme that will provide people across Scotland with essential numeracy skills.
An increase to the National Minimum Wage of £9.50 an hour, with young people and apprentices also seeing increases.
Freezes to fuel duty for the twelfth consecutive year and a freeze on Vehicle Excise Duty for heavy goods vehicles.
A freeze on alcohol duty, which will mean that whisky benefits from the lowest real terms tax rate since 1918.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.18: An extensive investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident and officers are appealing to members of the public to assist with their enquiries.
#AceDailyNews reports that a murder inquiry has been launched following death of 14-year-old boy in Glasgow on Saturday: Justin McLaughlin was found seriously injured at High Street train station around 3.45pm on Saturday, 16 October, 2021. He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later: A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the incident according to BBC News …..
Detective Chief Inspector Brian Geddes, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team and the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Our thoughts very much remain with Justin’s family and friends. His family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this very difficult time, and they are being supported by specialist officers: Although enquiries are at an early stage, what we do know is that an incident took place at High Street train station and we are sure that there will be people who may have witnessed something in the lead up to this: The area would have been busy with members of the public and commuters and we are urging those who have any information, no matter how small, to get in contact with police.”
Detective Inspector Marc Francey, of British Transport Police, said: “This was a shocking act of violence in broad daylight, which has seen a boy tragically lose his life: We are working closely with Police Scotland and doing all we can to find those responsible, and I would urge any witnesses, or anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious, to contact us as soon as possible: We will also be increasing our uniformed patrols in the local area in the coming days to help reassure the travelling public.” …Detectives have set up an online portal to encourage members of the public to submit information.
The Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) is a website that gives the public access to a form so they can send information directly to the major incident teams based at the Scottish Crime Campus: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT21S32-PO1
Police Scotland can be contacted by calling 101 and quoting incident number 2280 of Saturday, 16 October: BTP can also be contacted by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40quoting reference 394 of 16/10/21: Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
But Michael Hogg, from the RMT union, said it would not ballot ScotRail workers on a deal he described as “rotten” and “lousy” as it also involved efficiency savings: That would mean workers having to give up some current terms and conditions in order to get a pay rise, a caveat Mr Hogg branded “unacceptable”.
Mr Hogg told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme there will be no trains running anywhere in Scotland during COP26 if the strikes go ahead.
He added: “Our representatives do not feel that this offer is worthy of consideration. It’s a kick in the teeth to key, essential workers.”
On Thursday, it was announced staff will strike from 00:01 on Monday 1 November until 23:59 on Friday 12 November.
The global COP26 summit, which is expected to draw thousands of people to Glasgow, runs from 31 October until 12 November.
Sleeper staff will strike on Sunday 31 October from 11:59 until 11:58 hours on Tuesday 2 November and again for 48 hours on Thursday 11 November from 11:59.
GMB cleansing workers in Glasgow and Unite’s Stagecoach staff have also voted to strike during COP26……
ScotRail operations manager David Simpson told Good Morning Scotland “a very positive offer” was made to the union last weekend and he had expected it to be put to the RMT’s members.
But instead it called a strike, a move he said was “very frustrating and very disappointing”.
Mr Simpson denied ScotRail had been “stonewalling” the union and said the pandemic had prompted more discussion over the last 18 months than ever before.
He added: “Many workers would say 4.7% over two years is anything but a derisory offer and it compares well with other industries.”
Getty ImagesAll scheduled trains will be cancelled if the strikes go ahead
Kathryn Darbandi, managing director for Serco Caledonian Sleeper, said any action during the climate summit would be incredibly damaging.
She said: “We have repeatedly tabled realistic and reasonable offers which we believe should have ended the dispute.
“Industrial action during COP26 – when the eyes of the world will be on Scotland – risks both the reputation of rail as an environmentally-friendly and sustainable mode of transport, but also the great progress the entire team at Caledonian Sleeper have made in building back the confidence of our guests.
“The RMT’s action does not reflect the reality of the financial situation facing all parties in Scotland’s railway today, as we seek to rebuild the industry for the future. We need to work together, and we continue to be open to realistic discussions.”
PA Media: The climate summit will be held at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow
Transport Minister Graeme Dey said that the RMT was in receipt of a “very fair” pay proposal.
And he told Good Morning Scotland many of its members will have voted for strike action “unaware of the offer that is now on the table”.
Mr Dey also described the two-year deal, which he said has been backed by the three other unions involved, was “the best offer that can be made in the circumstances”.
But Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Graham Simpson accused the Scottish government of distancing themselves from the dispute.
He said: “Glasgow is about to take centre stage in a matter of weeks, and the SNP are still claiming they have no idea why rail strikes are continuing.
“SNP ministers must work with all parties to find a solution before these persisting strikes cast a shadow over the COP26 conference.”
It is the latest stage in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions and proposed cuts to services at the rail operator, which wants to reduce the number of services across Scotland by 300 a day from next May.
The move was announced by the government earlier this year after Abellio was stripped of its contract three years early amid concern over its performance.
Transport Scotland said it welcomed constructive talks between all parties and that a “significant offer” has been made by employers since the RMT ballot opened.
A spokeswoman said: “We understand that the RMT will now ballot its membership again on the substance of this offer. We hope that RMT members and the other unions will agree and accept this offer, putting to an end existing and proposed industrial disputes and action: Rail workers have played their part in keeping the country moving through the pandemic and we are sure that they will see the importance of the moment and the role they can play in showing the best Scotland’s Railway has to offer as we welcome world leaders from across the globe to COP26.”
Meanwhile, Chris Mitchell of the GMB denied cleansing workers in Glasgow were using the global climate conference as a bargaining chip.
Mr Mitchell claimed his members had been “put in a corner” by Cosla despite their “heroic efforts” during the pandemic.
And he told Good Morning Scotland the current pay offer of £850 a year would only amount to an extra £6.50 a week, after tax and National Insurance was taken off.
Mr Mitchell said he acknowledged the importance of COP26, but added: “Cosla need to realise there is an emergency on their own door step.”
The COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow in November is seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control. Almost 200 countries are being asked for their plans to cut emissions, and it could lead to major changes to our everyday lives…..
#AceNewsReport – Oct.11: The man, who is from Irvine in North Ayrshire, was detained as he stepped off a flight from Spain at Glasgow Prestwick Airport yesterday (9 October)…..
#AceDailyNews NCA Report: On the arrest of a ‘third man’ on a in Scotland over ‘cocaine coach’ that was intercepted in Dover that was on a flight from Spain to Glasgow …He was transported to Carlisle police station where he was questioned by investigators, before being released under investigation.
CASE NOTES: The arrest forms part of an ongoing investigation which has already seen two men from the north west of England jailed for more than 30 years: Driver Christopher Bullows, from St Helens, and his passenger Mark Tucker, from Blackburn, were arrested after their coach was stopped at Dover Docks in September 2020: A search by Border Force uncovered the cocaine hidden in a specially constructed wastewater tank. The drugs would have been worth around £19.4 million if sold on the streets of the UK: In July this year Tucker was jailed for 16 years and Bullows for 14 years and four months at Canterbury Crown Court.
NCA Branch Commander Mark McCormack said: “This was a significant amount of cocaine and our investigation into this smuggling attempt continues: Drugs fuel violence and exploitation in our communities, and those involved in smuggling into the UK play a key role in that chain of criminality. We will do all we can to disrupt and dismantle the organised crime groups involved.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.10: Quinn is the 87th person detained as part of Operation Captura, the agency’s most wanted campaign run in conjunction with Crimestoppers…..
#AceDailyNews reports on Operation Captura and arrest of a man MOST WANTED CAMPAIGN in Scotland who has been arrested in the Netherlands on Friday: 57-year-old Mark Francis Quinn was apprehended in Maastricht yesterday (8 October) as a result of joint working between the NCA’s international network, Dutch police and Police Scotland this is the 87th person in this operation …..
A man listed on the National Crime Agency’s ‘most wanted’ list has been arrested in the Netherlands: He is wanted over drug offences allegedly committed in Scotland between 2013 and 2014, and will now face extradition proceedings.
NCA deputy director Matt Horne said: This operation has once again demonstrated that the NCA can reach outside the UK’s borders to track down and apprehend wanted fugitives: It should serve as a warning to those remaining on our most wanted list. We have a global reach, we never give up, and they can never rest easy.”
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Pat Campbell said: I am grateful for the assistance of our law enforcement partners, including the National Crime Agency, in arresting the man who is wanted in Scotland for drugs offences: He will now be subject to extradition proceedings and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
#AceHealthReport – Oct.10: Public Health Scotland said 551 who tested positive for the virus reported having been at the festival around the time of their illness when speaking to contact tracers.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says according to BBC Health #COVID19 in Scotland have linked more than 500 cases to TRNSMT Music Festival with some 1,645 people who were also found to have been close contacts of those who tested positive when about 50,000 people descended on Glasgow Green for the three-day event last month but see the figures below from Saturday …..
They had to bring proof of a negative lateral flow test to gain entry.
Public health expert Prof Linda Bauld said it was likely that some of these people were infected at TRNSMT but it was not a “super-spreader” event.
The figures were published in response to a freedom of information request from the Press Association news agency.
TRNSMT was one of the first mass events held in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.
According to Public Health Scotland, the figures do not mean Covid-19 was contracted at the event, only that those who spoke to Test and Protect recorded having been at TRNSMT around the time of their illness.
Following the event which started on 10 September, national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said the festival was not responsible for a spike in cases.
Prof Bauld, professor public health at the University of Edinburgh, said it was not possible to say definitely how people caught the virus at the festival.
“I think it’s certainly possible that some of those cases were infected at TRNSMT but we can’t prove it,” she added.
Decline in cases
Prof Bauld said there were always risks when mass events are held during periods of relatively high levels of infection in the community.
At the time of TRNSMT about one in 60 people in Scotland had Covid.
Be she added: “TRNSMT was not a super-spreader event.
“It’s really important to recognise that in the weeks following the festival, we actually saw a decline in cases in Scotland and we certainly didn’t see a surge related to that festival.
“But clearly it’s not without risk and that may be reflected in these numbers.”
In the week immediately following the festival, 30,928 cases of Covid-19 were recorded as part of the Scottish government’s daily tally, meaning the number of confirmed cases linked to TRNSMT was 1.7% of the total.
Weekly Covid cases in Scotland hit a peak of just under 44,900 in the week ending 6 September – just before TRNSMT. They have since fallen to just under 17,600 in the week to 3 October.
There were 2,627 cases recorded by the Scottish government on Friday and 16 deaths following a positive test.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.26: His accuser, Virginia Giuffre, says the Duke of York forced her to have sex with him at the London home of the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein two decades ago….
#AceDailyNews says according to ABC that the Prince Andrew accepts he has been served with Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault lawsuit NOW Subject to court approval, he will have until October 29 to formally respond….
Prince Andrew’s lawyers said a previous attempt to serve the duke did not follow proper procedure
Prince Andrew is accused of forcing Virginia Giuffre to have sex with him at the homes of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Epstein is now dead and Ghislaine Maxwell awaits trial for grooming underage girls
Prince Andrew and Ms Giuffre agreed that service of the lawsuit was effective as of September 21, according to a joint filing on Friday with the US District Court in Manhattan.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyers said they had served Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, in Britain but his lawyers claimed improper procedure, as English law and the Hague Convention were not followed.
He has not waived his defences against Ms Giuffre’s allegations, which he had previously “categorically” denied.
The agreement appears for now to end a month-long effort by Prince Andrew’s legal team, including lawyers in Britain, to block Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit at the outset rather than have the 61-year-old prince defend against it.
Andrew Brettler, a Los Angeles-based lawyer for Prince Andrew, declined to comment.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Jeffrey Epstein connection
Ms Giuffre, 38, accused the prince in her August 9 lawsuit of forcing her to have sex about two decades ago, when she was underage, at the London home of Epstein’s long-time associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
She also said Prince Andrew abused her at around the same time at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew has not been charged with crimes.
His lawyers are seeking to review a 2009 settlement agreement from a lawsuit against Epstein in Florida to determine whether it requires a dismissal of Ms Giuffre’s case.
Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages.
Epstein, a registered sex offender, also had a home in Florida.
He took his own life at age 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Ms Giuffre sued Prince Andrew under a 2019 New York law that gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a since-closed two-year window to sue their alleged abusers over conduct occurring many years or decades earlier.
Ms Maxwell faces a scheduled November 29 trial in Manhattan on charges she helped recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse.