A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
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Leading the week
The world’s leaders convene in Dubai for COP28 on Thursday (November 30) to review commitments to reduce carbon emissions, as well as undertake the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement. Longtime climate activist King Charles delivers the summit’s opening address on Friday (December 1), and eyes will be on how his words might be interpreted versus the policies put forward by his prime minister, who has faced criticism over a significant U-turn on net zero policies. Rishi Sunak confirmed his attendance at the climate talks in advance this year, sidestepping the controversy he faced in 2022 when he was forced to row back on plans to skip them. On Saturday (December 2), Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff to attend the conference as part of his attempts to modernise the papacy.
While US President Joe Biden is not expected to attend, observers will be looking at the relationship between the US and China, two of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, as key to the success of the talks. The pair’s climate envoys resumed talks in California earlier this month, raising hopes that they could find some common ground head of the meeting in Dubai. Despite the positive messages, the summit is not without its critics, with many taking aim at the host nation. COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber himself is head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which has sought to increase its oil production over the last few years. Though the big names will be around to open the conference, the crunch talks on an actual agreement usually come at the end of the summit, which wraps up on December 12.
Following a string of more detail-oriented sessions with Chris Whitty this week, the Covid-19 Inquiry returns in force next week with a succession of political ‘big beasts’ set to appear to provide further revelations on government operations during the pandemic. On Monday (November 27), metro mayors Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram appear before the inquiry to outline how London, Manchester and Liverpool approached the challenges of the pandemic, followed on Tuesday (November 28) by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, who is called to explain his role through the pandemic as the then-Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Wednesday (November 29) features evidence from former Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who famously stood in as Prime Minister in April 2020 when Boris Johnson was hospitalised with Covid, followed by former Chancellor and late-pandemic Health Secretary Sajid Javid. The week’s biggest draw, though, will be a prolonged two-day session on Thursday and Friday (November 30-December 1) with former Health Secretary turned reality-TV star Matt Hancock that will undoubtedly dive into the multitude of controversies that took place under his tenure.
After hosting summits on AI and food security already this month, Rishi Sunak again welcomes a host of international figures to London for the Global Investment Summit on Monday (November 27). The prime minister will use the event to bang the drum for the UK as an investment destination, and the attendance of the likes of Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman represents something of a coup for Number 10 after a mixed year for the UK economy.
The highlight of the technophile prime minister’s agenda for the day is a keynote discussion with Schwarzman on investing in skills for the future, while elsewhere there’s a showcase of new technologies by carmakers McLaren and Aston Martin, computing firms Fruit Cast Ltd, Delta G and Quantum DX and nuclear energy companies Tokamak Energy and Core Power. While the summit may see Sunak start the week on a high, the prospect of seeing his government’s fiscal plans unpicked at Treasury committee sessions with the OBR and influential economists on Tuesday (November 28), before a grilling for the Chancellor on Wednesday (November 29), means it could be rather short-lived.
Following news that a four-day humanitarian pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas began this morning ahead of the first planned hostage exchanges later today, the conflict looks set to dominate the international news agenda once again next week amid a flurry of diplomatic activity. With US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly planning a visit to Israel early next week ahead of the NATO ministerial on Tuesday and Wednesday (November 28-29), there will be much interest in whether the pause can be extended beyond Tuesday, when it is due to expire unless Hamas agrees to release more hostages.
Tuesday also sees Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visit Turkey for talks with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva begin visits to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the annual debate on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East at the UN General Assembly in New York. On Wednesday (November 29), the UN Security Council will debate the situation in the Middle East, which coincides with International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, likely marked by further protests over the conflict.
One of the more surprising figures that may turn up in Israel next week is X owner Elon Musk, who, according to Israeli outlet N12, is due to visit the sites of Hamas’ attacks on Israel near the border with Gaza as well as meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. Musk has faced criticism from all sides of the conflict, battling accusations of antisemitism and uproar over plans to provide Starlink internet coverage to Gaza as well as condemnation for plans to ban pro-Palestinian terms including ‘from the river to the sea’ and ‘decolonisation’.
While it’s still unclear whether or when Musk will touch down in Tel Aviv, he’ll almost certainly have to field questions on the X controversies, including the decision by several major companies to pull their advertising from the site, when he’s interviewed at the New York Times’ annual DealBook Summit on Wednesday (November 29). Alongside Musk, speakers include US Vice President Kamala Harris, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner CEO David Zaslav, FTC Chair Lina Khan, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.