It was great to see the UK hosting its second major global summit of the year in Glasgow with COP26. I was very pleased to hear the announcement that more than 100 world leaders have backed a £14 billion agreement to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 – protecting and restoring the Earth’s forests. Trees are our natural protection from climate change – absorbing around one-third of global CO2 emissions – but we are still losing forests at an alarming rate. This major international agreement to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030, was signed by many important nations – including the most densely forested countries such as Brazil, Russia and Canada – and backed by both public and private investment. Many countries are already delivering significant change to tackle climate change, and we will build on this success over the coming days to further protect our planet.
During COP26 we also launched the UK’s Clean Green Initiative – a £3 billion funding package to support the rollout of revolutionary green technology in developing countries – helping the world’s most vulnerable to mitigate the effects of climate change. Tackling climate change and protecting our planet can only be done if we work with our international allies and help the world’s poor protect their own communities and tackle climate change at home. That is why we are doubling UK aid-funded green investments to more than £3 billion in the next five years – including a £200 million Climate Innovation Facility – to support the scale-up of green technologies to help communities deal with the impacts of climate change. This funding will see our green industrial revolution go global, ensuring tackling climate change goes hand in hand with economic growth and progress.
I have been contacted by many constituents recently asking about vaccine boosters. The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that all those eligible will all be able to receive their booster jabs at walk-in centres without needing to make an appointment, increasing their protection for the autumn and winter months ahead.
Nearly eight million people have received a booster jab or a third vaccine dose – but there are many more who will benefit from the protection of a third dose who have not yet come forward. That is why we are making booster jabs available at hundreds of sites across England and the NHS online walk-in finder will help find their nearest centres. Vaccines offer high levels of protection against COVID-19 but immunity reduces over time, so it's vital that vulnerable people get that booster jab as soon as they are eligible to top up their defences and extend our protection against the virus through the winter.