Week Ahead: Boris Johnson to make climate change promises as Geraint Thomas competes in Yorkshire

Boris Johnson is due to speak at a UN climate summit on Monday.
Boris Johnson is due to speak at a UN climate summit on Monday.
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World leaders will be making climate change promises while the world’s best cyclists will take to the streets of Yorkshire. Chris Burn takes a look at the Week Ahead.

CLIMATE POLITICS HOTS UP

Tour de France winner Britain's Geraint Thomas will be competing in the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire (Picture: Stephane Mantey, pool via AP)

Tour de France winner Britain's Geraint Thomas will be competing in the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire (Picture: Stephane Mantey, pool via AP)

After millions of people across the world took part in a “global climate strike” on Friday in protests part of a snowballing movement sparked by teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s school strikes, a climate summit at the United Nations in New York will today call for countries to increase their efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The UN has promised that the event will “showcase a leap in collective national political ambition”, with Boris Johnson among the world leaders due to deliver new climate pledges at the meeting.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has told heads of states and governments not to bring speeches but to bring concrete plans to the event.

Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, said earlier this month that public pressure will compel political action.

“Governments always follow public opinion, everywhere in the world, sooner or later,” he said. “We need to keep telling the truth to people and be confident that the political system, especially democratic political systems, will in the end deliver.”

COURT’S CALL DURING CONFERENCE SEASON

Labour’s party conference in Brighton is running until Wednesday and the Conservatives’ event in Manchester will begin on Sunday but politicians from both sides will be paying close attention to the verdict of the Supreme Court this week on whether Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful.

Following a three-day hearing last week, a ruling is expected early this week which has the potential to see Parliament recalled and possibly throw conference plans into disarray.

The arguments about the Prime Minister’s decision have centred around whether prorogation was done to stop MPs preventing a no-deal Brexit rather than being a process to allow time to prepare a domestic legislative agenda, as Mr Johnson has claimed.

ON THEIR BIKES

The UCI Road World Championships are already under way in Yorkshire but will come to a crescendo at the weekend with the women’s elite race between Bradford and Harrogate on Saturday and the men’s elite road race between Leeds and Harrogate on Sunday.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the route for the event, with competitors including former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Yorkshire’s own Lizzie Deignan. Thomas will also compete on Wednesday in the men’s time trial event between Northallerton and Harrogate.

In a busy sporting week, England will be taking on the USA in their second match of the Rugby World Cup on Thursday, while Yorkshire CCC will be bringing their somewhat mediocre County Championship season to a close with an away game at Warwickshire. The mid-table clash will play second fiddle to the title-deciding game between Somerset and Essex.

ROYALS IN AFRICA

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will head out to Africa today with their son Archie Harrison on their first royal tour as a family. Meghan and Archie will spend the duration of the ten-day visit in South Africa while Harry will leave his family to tour Angola, Malawi and Botswana before being reunited with them in Johannesburg. The Angola visit will be a meaningful one as the Duke is expected to visit Huambo, where his late mother Princess Diana visited a de-mining zone.

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN BEGINS

The clocks may not have gone back yet but, for some people at least, thoughts are already turning to December 25. On Thursday, expert buyers at Hamleys will be announcing their Christmas top toy list.