MG ZS parked outside a houseMG ZS parked outside a house

News Round-Up

Nov 2: World leaders at Cop26 agree to protect forests; Smart motorway rollout should be paused say MPs; Record diesel prices; New MG ZS EV goes on sale

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, November 2

Time 4 weeks ago

Countries to make commitments on deforestation and methane emissions at Cop26

Countries are outlining commitments to curb deforestation and cut methane emissions at Cop26 as part of efforts to drive efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

More than 100 world leaders will sign up to a landmark agreement to protect and restore the Earth’s forests, the UK government has said.

The announcements come after the Queen issued a rallying cry to world leaders attending Cop26 urging them to work together in ‘common cause’ to tackle climate change and ‘solve the most insurmountable problems’.

‘Intensive’ talks to be held in fishing row after French back down on threats

The government has welcomed a decision by Emmanuel Macron to not push ahead with threats to take punitive action against the UK in a dispute over post-Brexit licences to fish in British waters.

The French president had warned that Paris could block British boats from landing their catches in French ports and tighten customs checks from midnight in protest at what they claim is a refusal by the UK authorities to grant licences to French boats.

But on Monday night, reports said Macron had said negotiations must continue.

Smart motorway rollout should be paused over safety concerns – MPs

The rollout of smart motorways should be suspended due to safety concerns, according to MPs.

A report by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee (TSC) said there is not enough safety and economic data to justify continuing with the project.

It described the government’s decision in March 2020 that all future smart motorways would be all-lane-running versions – where the hard shoulder is used as a permanent live traffic lane – as ‘premature’.

Goal to bring taxes down again before next general election – Sunak

People’s quality of life can be boosted by higher taxes, the chancellor has told MPs, as he defended hiking the burden on Britons to a level not seen since the 1950s.

Appearing before the Commons Treasury Committee on Monday, Rishi Sunak insisted he will aim to bring the tax burden down by the next general election.

But he denied he was raising taxes now in order to cut them in order to win votes, and said rises also had to be seen in the context of the public services delivered.

Amazon founder set to pledge more than £700m for Africa land restoration

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is set to pledge £732m for land restoration in Africa.

At an event at Cop26 in Glasgow alongside the Prince of Wales, French president Emmanuel Macron and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, the billionaire said he would match a previous contribution made through his Bezos Earth Fund.

The fund has pledged 10 billion dollars to tackle climate change.

Elon Musk offers £4.4bn if UN shows how it will solve world hunger

Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, has said he will sell six billion dollars (£4.4bn) worth of Tesla stock and donate the proceeds to the United Nations’ food agency if it can show how the money would solve world hunger.

His statement came after UN World Food Programme executive director David Beasley challenged Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and other billionaires in a CNN interview last week, calling on them to step up on ‘a one-time basis’ to help end starvation.

The SpaceX founder posted on Twitter: ‘If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.’

MG names new ZS EV’s price

MG has announced pricing and specifications for its revised ZS EV.

The exterior has been freshened up with the removal of the grille and the charging port has been moved to the front wing. Inside there’s a new infotainment system and instrument cluster and wireless phone charging has been added. Prices start at £28,495 (inc. Plug-in grant) for the SE and rise to £31,495 for the Trophy Connect.

Along with the styling changes, the ZS EV gets a larger 72kWh battery, bringing a range of up to 273 miles between charges.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Diesel hits record high price of 147.94p a litre

Diesel prices at UK forecourts have reached a new high.

The average price of a litre of diesel on Sunday was 147.94p, the RAC said. That surpasses the previous high of 147.93p set in April 2012.

It comes a week after the previous record average price for petrol – also set in April 2012 – was broken. Since then petrol prices have risen further, peaking at 144.35p per litre on Sunday.

House sales ‘logjam’ starts to ease with fewer properties changing hands

Around 550,000 homes across Britain are estimated to be going through the sales process, according to a property website.

This is lower than the 700,000 homes changing hands in June, when home-buyers rushed to obtain the maximum discounts available under the stamp duty holiday, which was tapered from July and ended completely from October.

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Rightmove said that, with fewer sales now being dealt with, there are also signs that the ‘logjam’ is starting to ease, with the average time from an agreed sale until a completed purchase falling from an average of 154 days in July to 127 days in October. It predicts by the end of a the year, around one and-a-half million homes will have been sold across Britain.

Sunny for most

A mostly sunny day for much of the UK, reports BBC Weather, however northern and western coastal areas will see some showers. Feeling chilly.

Dry and chilly tonight for most areas, too, although the rain seen during the day in northern and western parts will continue. Fog is possible in the south.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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