Nadhim Zahawi ‘agreed on penalty’ to settle tax bill worth millions

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/20/nadhim-zahawi-agreed-on-penalty-to-settle-tax-bill-worth-millions

The Conservative party chair, Nadhim Zahawi, agreed to pay a penalty to HMRC as part of a seven-figure settlement over his tax affairs, the Guardian has been told.

The former chancellor, who still attends the cabinet, has been subject to extensive questions in parliament and the media in recent days after it emerged he agreed to pay millions to HMRC in December after a settlement with the tax agency.

The Guardian has now been told that the former chancellor paid a penalty imposed by HMRC – part of an estimated £5m tax bill.

Penalties are applied if someone does not pay the correct tax at the right time.

Asked repeatedly about the penalty, Zahawi’s spokesperson did not deny one had been paid. Nor did they offer any explanation or clarification about the sums involved.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/20/nadhim-zahawi-agreed-on-penalty-to-settle-tax-bill-worth-millions

How I cost Nadhim Zahawi £3.7million

The former chancellor’s tax avoidance scheme, which has left his political career in the balance, was uncovered by an independent tax expert who Zahawi then tried to frustrate through legal means. Here’s how he did it

DAN NEIDLE

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UN head accuses fossil fuel firms of business models ‘inconsistent with human survival’

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/18/un-head-accuses-fossil-fuel-firms-of-business-models-inconsistent-with-human-survival

The head of the United Nations has accused the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies of refusing to abandon a business model at odds with human survival despite knowingly putting the world on course for a climate meltdown decades ago.

Speaking at the Davos summit of business and political leaders, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, launched a strong attack on the world’s leading oil companies, many of which are represented at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at the Swiss resort.

Guterres said recent revelations that ExxonMobil knew back in the 1970s that its core product was “baking our planet”, made “big oil” similar to the tobacco companies that knew smoking led to cancer.

“Just like the tobacco industry, they rode roughshod over their own science. Big Oil peddled the big lie … And like the tobacco industry, those responsible must be held to account,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/18/un-head-accuses-fossil-fuel-firms-of-business-models-inconsistent-with-human-survival

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New Cumbria coalmine likely to break UK’s climate pledge, analysis says

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/17/cumbria-coalmine-uk-climate-goals-methane-emissions

The new coalmine in Cumbria is likely to prevent the UK from meeting its internationally agreed commitment to reduce emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane, analysis has suggested.

The Whitehaven colliery, controversially approved by ministers shortly before Christmas, will release about 17,500 tonnes of methane every year, according to estimates from the Green Alliance thinktank.

That is about the same as 120,000 cattle, or about half the beef herd in Cumbria at present, and could put the UK’s methane-cutting targets out of reach.

The analysis comes as campaigners also raise concerns about the filing of more than 100 oil and gas drilling licence applications.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/17/cumbria-coalmine-uk-climate-goals-methane-emissions

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Extinction Rebellion paints Michael Gove’s office black over Cumbria coal mine decision

Image: William Joshua Templeton / Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion protests Michael Gove’s decision to allow coal mining at Whitehaven, Cumbria at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities in London.  The mine is UK’s first new deep coal mine for 30 years.

Sarah Hart, a mother of two from Farnborough said: “2022 saw record global greenhouse gas emissions, and record global temperatures. Where is the government’s ambition to act on this Climate and Ecological Emergency? How dare they even think of opening a coal mine now? Gove claims this mine is carbon neutral but he completely ignores the emissions from burning the coal. We demand an end to all new fossil fuel projects.”

Dorothea Hackman, a 70 year old grandmother from Camden said: “Opening a coal mine today means the UK can’t argue that China and India should decrease their own coal emissions. Whitehaven coal isn’t even wanted by British steelworks, it’s going to be exported, there is no argument for domestic production.”

Extinction Rebellion is inviting everyone to Westminster from 21 April 2023 to demand a fair society and a citizen-led end to the fossil fuel era. ​Find out more about The Big One.

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CE Delft – CO2 emissions from private flights to the World Economic Forum

https://www.greenpeace.org/international/ce-delft_co2-emissions-from-private-flights-to-the-world-economic-forum/

CE Delft – CO2 emissions from private flights to the World Economic Forum

Summary of report

New analysis commissioned by Greenpeace International shows that 1,040 private jets flew in and out of airports serving the Swiss mountain resort of Davos during the week of the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF), causing CO2 emissions from private jets four times greater than an average week.

The research, conducted by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft, found that the number of private jet flights to and from airports serving Davos doubled during the 2022 World Economic Forum meeting compared to average weeks, causing CO2 emissions equivalent to about 350,000 average cars in the same time period.[1] The researchers attribute about every second flight to the meeting itself.

Of all these flights, 53% were short-haul flights below 750 km that could have easily been train or car trips, with 38% flying ultra-short distances of under 500 km. The shortest flight recorded was only 21 km. According to the analysis, countries with the highest number of arrivals and departures out of Davos airports included Germany, France and Italy.

The issue of private jets garnered global public attention last year after several public figures faced criticism for taking ultra-short trips by private jet. The analysis released by Greenpeace International comes days before political and business leaders head into Davos to attend the 2023 World Economic Forum, with its self-proclaimed goal of wanting to tackle climate change and other “ongoing crises” calling for “bold collective action”.

Private jets are not regulated in the EU, even though they are the most polluting mode of transportation on the planet per passenger kilometre.[2] For the first time, in 2022, several EU countries spearheaded by France have started to push for an EU-wide regulation of private jet emissions. Greenpeace is calling on a ban on private jets and short-haul flights with train alternatives in the EU.

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Lutzerath: Why are people protesting at coal village where Greta Thunberg was detained?

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/greta-thunberg-germany-coal-lutzerath-b2263939.html

Coal mine expansion has long been flashpoint for tensions over Germany’s energy policies

News of climate activist Greta Thunberg’s detention by police near the German village of Lutzerath has drawn further attention to controversial plans for a coal mine’s expansion, which she has labelled a “betrayal” by the government.

While perhaps the most recognisable, the Swedish campaigner is among thousands of people who have been compelled to take part in demonstrations at the North Rhine-Westphalia village in recent years, which has become a flashpoint for German climate activists seeking an end to fossil fuels.

[A]ctivists argue that fossil fuels must remain in the ground to avert climate breakdown. Addressing some 6,000 protesters marching on Lutzerath on Saturday, Ms Thunberg called the mine’s expansion a “betrayal of present and future generations”.

“Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world and needs to be held accountable,” she said, adding: “The most affected people are clear, the science is clear, we need to keep the carbon in the ground.

“When governments and corporations are acting like this, are actively destroying the environment, putting countless of people at risk, the people step up.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/greta-thunberg-germany-coal-lutzerath-b2263939.html

Continue ReadingLutzerath: Why are people protesting at coal village where Greta Thunberg was detained?

Climate activists vow to take to streets to stop fossil fuel extraction

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/16/climate-activists-vow-to-take-to-the-streets-to-stop-fossil-fuel-extraction

‘Cease and desist’ letter signed by over 650,000 people sent to oil and gas CEOs follows removal of Greta Thunberg from coal protest

Hundreds of thousands of young climate activists have said they will continue “protesting in the streets in huge numbers” against fossil fuels, a day after Greta Thunberg was removed by German police from a condemned village atop a massive coal deposit.

In a cease-and-desist letter to the CEOs of fossil fuel companies, youth campaigners accuse them of a “direct violation of our human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, your duties of care, as well as the rights of Indigenous people”.

“This cease-and-desist notice is to demand that you immediately stop opening any new oil, gas or coal extraction sites, and stop blocking the clean energy transition we all so urgently need,” the letter says.

The letter warns that failure to act would mean citizens around the world would consider taking “any and all legal action” to hold the companies accountable. “And we will keep protesting in the streets in huge numbers,” it says.

Signatories included Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, Greta Thunberg from Sweden, Helena Gualinga from Ecuador and Luisa Neubauer from Germany. They say: “It feels extremely difficult to keep hope alive in the face of climate devastation around the world. But our hope lies in people – in the millions of us who are determined to come together and demand action. It’s time to put these CEOs on notice – showing them that 2023 will be a watershed moment for accountability.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/16/climate-activists-vow-to-take-to-the-streets-to-stop-fossil-fuel-extraction

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World ‘way off track’ on climate targets, says UAE oil boss named COP28 chief

https://www.politico.eu/article/cop28-climate-change-targets-world-way-off-track-sultan-ahmed-al-jaber/

The world is “way off track” to hit climate goals, said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber in his first address since being named negotiator-in-chief of COP28 climate talks on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, where the gathering will take place in late 2023.

“The world is playing catch-up when it comes to the key Paris goal of holding global temperatures down to 1.5 degrees,” Al Jaber said, adding that “the hard reality is that, in order to achieve this goal, global emissions must fall 43 percent by 2030.”

The UAE’s decision to entrust Al Jaber to broker global climate negotiations has drawn an intense backlash from environmental activists across the globe. They worry that inherent conflicts of interests may jeopardize the outcome of the flagship gathering.

https://www.politico.eu/article/cop28-climate-change-targets-world-way-off-track-sultan-ahmed-al-jaber/

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Davos 2023: Big Oil in Sights of Climate Activist Protests

https://www.voanews.com/a/davos-2023-big-oil-in-sights-of-climate-activist-protests/6920107.html

Major energy firms including BP BP.L, Chevron CVX.N and Saudi Aramco 2222.SE are among the 1,500 business leaders gathering for the annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos, where global threats including climate change are on the agenda.

“We are demanding concrete and real climate action,” said Nicolas Siegrist, the 26-year-old organiser of the protest who also heads the Young Socialists party in Switzerland.

The annual meeting of global business and political leaders opens in Davos on Monday.

https://www.voanews.com/a/davos-2023-big-oil-in-sights-of-climate-activist-protests/6920107.html

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