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.
Leading the week
The first full week of the COP27 summit begins in Sharm El-Sheikh as heads of state and government meet for the World Leaders Summit on Monday and Tuesday (November 7-8) to focus on key objectives around how countries are reducing their emissions, how they adapt to tackle climate change challenges, and debates around global climate finance. Numerous G20 leaders including Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak (eventually) and Emmanuel Macron have already confirmed their attendance at the conference, but China’s Xi Jinping is likely to be the grouping’s highest-profile absentee. The UN has already attempted to focus minds ahead of proceedings through its Emissions Gap report, warning delegates that progress on their agreed COP26 targets has so far been ‘woefully insufficient’, while Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the world ‘will be doomed’ without a ‘historic pact’ between rich and poor nations. The expectation, then, to hammer out landmark climate agreements over the next fortnight is already sizeable.
Biden will miss the leaders’ summit but arrives for Decarbonization Day on Friday (November 11), though his appearance could well be overshadowed by planned mass protests which have already seen Egyptian security forces make a number of arrests. The UK delegation is facing more direct pressure, as the family of British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah have ramped up action in recent days pushing for his release ahead of the summit. El-Fattah, who has been on a hunger strike since April, will begin refusing water as well as the conference gets underway. His family have warned he could die during the summit, and that world leaders in attendance will have blood on their hands if they fail to act.
Once the leaders have gone, negotiators will get to work – look out for media activity focused around each day’s theme, as well as interventions from high-profile attendees and activists. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will both make an appearance, while Greta Thunberg will be noticeably absent, having criticised the summit as an opportunity for ‘greenwashing’ that won’t encourage systemic change.
The midterm elections taking place in the US on Tuesday (November 8) will shape the remainder of President Joe Biden’s first term. Republicans are widely expected to seize control of the House of Representatives, which in and of itself will severely hamper the Biden administration’s ability to pass any major legislation. Losing control of the Senate – which Democrats only currently hold due to Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote – is also a real possibility with many key races tightening as the election approaches. Republicans have been relentless in their criticism over inflation, crime and immigration, and while Democrats have been hammering Republicans over the issue of abortion in particular, it’s unclear if they’ve done enough when it comes to firing up their base.
The outcome will almost certainly hinge on the results in the races in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina, though the contests in New Hampshire, Colorado, Washington, Florida and even Utah are worth watching for upsets. Beyond the Congressional races, governors are being elected in 36 states, and there’s a host of state referendums on issues including abortion, marijuana legalization, and voting rights.
For more details on the midterms, download the state-by-state guide from our US team, which tracks when the polls close and the key races to look out for that could determine control of the House and Senate.