Julia Gillard must find it hard to imagine coalition politics ever resulting in Government commitments to radically reduce carbon emissions. This week, however, the UK Government, run by a Conservative-led coalition presiding over an era of recession and budget cuts, confirmed their commitment to green the UK economy.
UK Cabinet approved a reduction in emissions to around 50 per cent in 2025 in its decision on the “Fourth Carbon Budget”, which is a level of allowable emissions for the 2020s. This builds on the UK’s previous commitments in the nearer term – the first three carbon budgets.
Taken together, the carbon budget’s framework puts the UK economy on track to contributing its share to keeping warming to under the internationally recognised benchmark of around two degrees Celsius.
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Whilst the Logies and Rosemount Australian Fashion Week have kept Australian fashion commentators busy, the looks currently being critiqued in Britain are not on the red carpet or the catwalk but on the campaign trail.
The British media billed it as a showdown between Sarah Brown, wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Samantha Cameron, wife of Conservatives’ Leader David Cameron, but it became a three-horse race as the rise and rise of the Liberal Democrats meant their leader’s wife, Miriam González Durántez, suddenly found herself the subject of intense scrutiny. The three women all spoke to UK Grazia in this week’s issue which has hit news stands just before the poll.
As Gordon Brown faces renewed pressure after describing a Labour voter as a “bigoted woman” and one of his own candidates labelling him “the worst Prime Minister we have had in this country”, Sarah Brown has become increasingly important to her husband’s chances of reelection.
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“It is,” P.G. Wodehouse once wrote, “never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.”
It was impossible not to think of that sentence this week as I watched Gordon Brown confronting a discontented voter in the Northern English town of Rochdale and then being caught on mic unloading on his aides.
Brown, of course, is struggling, third in the polls, personally unpopular and with the millstone around his neck of a massive budget deficit and a national debt it will take decades to repay.
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