Climate Agreement Extended

A landmark agreement, which underpins the United Nation’s crucial COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, will be extended to the Isle of Man after successful talks with the UK.  The Paris Agreement united almost all the world’s nations – for the first time – in a single commitment to combat climate change, when nearly 200 countries signed up in 2015.

As part of the island’s commitment a Climate Change Bill was delivered which could receive royal assent later this month. This work, and the ongoing research and development of the Climate Change Transformation Programme, has contributed to the successful application.

Daphne Caine MHK, Chair of the Climate Change Transformation Board, who is representing the island at COP26 this week, said: ‘This hugely significant agreement brings nearly 200 countries together through a common cause; to undertake the urgent action needed to combat climate change. This extension clearly demonstrates the Isle of Man’s commitment to play its part on the world stage and build on the hard work that is already underway.’

Bear With Dylan

Manx legend Dylan Walton has been off meeting Bear Grylls after he was nominated by the leader of his 1st Rainbow Scout Group for the Bear Grylls Unsung Hero’s Award 2021. Dylan was one of 20 children chosen to win the award and to celebrate his family organised a Bear Hunt to Birmingham.

Dylan had no idea that the bear hunt was where he was going to meet Bear Grylls, one of his biggest idols himself! Bear Grylls is one of Dylan’s biggest idols and he was absolutely star struck when he got up to meet him in person.

Rack Em Up

The Isle of Man IPA Eight Ball Pool tournament is being held on the island this weekend and also being streamed live via BBC Sport. The tournament is at the Palace Hotel starting tomorrow, you can see more info here.

Employed Persons’ Allowance

Tynwald Members will be asked at January’s sitting to approve a further six-month delay to changes to rules around Employed Person’s Allowance (EPA). The changes were approved by Tynwald in May 2019 and were due to come into effect in June 2020 before being postponed twice, with Tynwald approval, firstly to April 2021 and then to April 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes involve an increase in the minimum number of hours that some individuals and couples must work in order to qualify for EPA.

Treasury Minister David Ashford MHK said: ‘The world is a very different place to when these changes were approved in 2019, and the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still of great concern to many in our community. With this in mind, and the agreement of Tynwald, I’d like to press the pause button. If approved, a six-month delay will enable us to assess the position and consider the impact these changes may have on vulnerable working families.’

Resigned To History

Owen Paterson has resigned as an MP after a row over his conduct led to a government u-turn. The Tory was found to have broken lobbying rules and was facing suspension – until Tory MPs blocked it by calling for an overhaul of the MPs’ standards watchdog instead. They initially had the backing of No 10, but Downing Street reversed its decision after a furious backlash.  Mr Paterson said he now wanted a life ‘outside the cruel world of politics’.

The Commons Standards Committee concluded last week that Mr Paterson had misused his position as an MP to benefit two firms he worked for, after a damning report on his behaviour by standards commissioner Kathryn Stone. They recommended he be suspended from the Commons for 30 sitting days – a sanction that could also lead to a recall petition in his constituency, and the possibility of him facing a by-election. Such recommendations – which have to be signed off by MPs – are usually accepted without much discussion. But on Wednesday, the government ordered its members to vote for an amendment to halt Mr Paterson’s case and to rejig the standards system.

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