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Climate activists crossed the line with roadblocks, says minister

Climate

Climate activists crossed the line with roadblocks, says minister

Climate change protesters “crossed the line” between their right to protest and their responsibility towards the rest of the public when they caused huge tailbacks by blocking three key London roads on Monday, the policing minister, Kit Malthouse has said.

New measures will be announced to crack down on protesters who target road networks and critical national infrastructure, which “is of a different scale of damage than you would otherwise find with a normal protest”, the junior minister said.

On Monday, 54 members of Insulate Britain staged blockades at Hanger Lane, Wandsworth Bridge and the Blackwall tunnel at the height of rush-hour. On LBC radio on Tuesday morning, Boris Johnson called the group “irresponsible crusties”.

Malthouse, speaking on Sky News, said: “While we obviously all value the right to protest, there is a difference between causing disruption and causing damage. We believe that these protesters and some of the others that we’ve seen in the last couple of years have crossed the line between exercising their right but also their responsibility towards the rest of us, and something needs to be done.

“So today we’re going to be announcing a raft of new measures alongside those that are already in the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill that’s going through the House of Lords at the moment that we think will help deal with this problem, specifically recognising the disruption of infrastructure and disruption of the strategic road network is of a different scale of damage than you would otherwise find with a normal protest.”

In recent weeks, the home secretary, Priti Patel, has applied for court injunctions to stop Insulate Britain campaigners from bringing motorways to a standstill. The current fines for blocking a highway are up to £1,000.

However, breaching such an injunction is not in itself an arrestable offence. Later on Tuesday, Insulate Britain protesters are expected to visit London’s high court for a hearing about an injunction banning them from blocking the M25.

When asked on Sky why high court injunctions were not enough to bring an end to the protests, Malthouse said the “consequences step” had to follow a number of other legal steps, giving protesters a “legal loophole”.

“In the meantime, while the police can arrest these protesters and charge them for obstructing the highway, the charge at the moment isn’t severe enough that they can be detained in custody pending an appearance in court. That means that these people in particular are then free to go repeat offend, as we’ve seen.

“Eventually, given that they are as far as I can see in breach of that injunction, they will appear in front of a judge and face the wrath of that judge, but in the meantime we need to think about this particular legal loophole to give police more power to deal with this very severe disruption.”

Patel is expected to say in a speech to the Conservative party conference on Tuesday that new powers will be given to police to prevent protesters who have been disrupting motorways from travelling around the country.

She will promise new orders giving courts the power to ban individuals with a history of disruption, or where there is intelligence suggesting they are likely to commit a criminal offence, from attending particular protests.

She will also outline a new offence of disrupting critical national infrastructure. This will stop protesters from targeting power stations, media organisations or airports, Patel will say.

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Environment

NiMet forecasts thunderstorms, cloudiness from Tues to Thursday

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and cloudiness from Tuesday to Thursday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Monday in Abuja, forecasts morning thunderstorms on Tuesday over parts of Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and
Gombe states.

It envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina and Taraba states later in the day.

“Partly cloudy conditions are expected over the central regions during the morning hours with prospects of afternoon/evening thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Kwara states.

“Cloudy skies are expected over the
southern region during the morning hours with prospects of afternoon/evening rains over part of Ondo, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Lagos states,” it said.

According to NiMet, early morning thunderstorms are expected over parts of Taraba, Adamawa and Kebbi
states on Wednesday.

It further anticipated thunderstorm over parts of Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi and Kaduna later on Wednesday. .

“Early morning thunderstorms are anticipated over
parts of Kwara and Kogi states while later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa states, while later in the day, rains are expected over most parts of the southern region,” it said.

NiMet predicted morning thunderstorms on Thursday over parts of Taraba state and thunderstorms over Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Kano states later in the day.

It envisaged thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and Nasarawa states early in the morning.

The agency predicted thunderstorms over the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi and Nasarawa states later in the day.

NiMet forecasts cloudy skies over the southern region during the morning hours with rains over the entire region later in the day.

“Strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur, public should take adequate precaution.

“Airline operators are advised to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

(NAN)

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Environment

Africa loses $15bn annually to climate change — AfDB president

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa loses between seven billion dollars and 15 billion dollars annually due to climate change.

The President of the bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said this during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which was monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to him, this is in spite contributing only three per cent of global emissions.

Adesina said that Africa was at the forefront of climate change’s impacts, which had devastating effects on agriculture and economies.

“In response, the AfDBank has inaugurated ambitious initiatives to build resilience and adapt to a changing climate.

“The AfDB has committed to doubling its climate finance to 25 billion dollars by 2030, focusing on the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme.

“This programme aims to deploy 25 billion dollars for climate adaptation, making it the largest globally.

“Additionally, the AfDB has created a climate action window with an initial investment of 429 million dollars, expected to grow to 13 billion dollars,’’ he said.

Adesina said this window supports vulnerable countries with crop insurance, land restoration, and climate information services.

He said Innovative financial mechanisms played a crucial role in supporting these climate adaptation initiatives.

Adesina said the bank had begun using partial credit guarantees, which enabled countries like Benin, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire to raise significant capital at lower interest rates.

“For example, Benin raised 400 million dollars from Chinese investors using a 195 million dollar partial credit guarantee.

“The AfDB also facilitated Egypt’s Panda Bond issuance, allowing the country to secure 500 million dollars from Chinese markets.

“These financial innovations reduce the cost of borrowing for African countries and encourage long-term investments in climate resilience.

“In spite of the challenges posed by climate change, Africa is leading the charge in innovative solutions and sustainable development,’’ he said.

The AfDB boss, therefore, said that the global financial architecture was not serving Africa’s interests very well, thus requiring change.

On Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), he said the bank was championing the course on the need for Africa to take those SDRs and use them better. (NAN)

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Environment

NiMET forecasts 3-day of sunshine, cloudiness

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has predicted sunshine and cloudiness from Monday to Wednesday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook, released on Sunday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday, with patches of clouds over the northern region and morning thunderstorms over parts of Taraba, Adamawa and Borno states.

“Later in the afternoon/evening period, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Zamfara, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Taraba and Adamawa.

“Cloudy skies with sunshine intervals are anticipated over the North Central region with chances of morning thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa states.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi and Benue states,” the NiMet forecast stated.

According to the agency, a cloudy atmosphere is expected over the southern states, with prospects of morning rains over parts of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

It anticipated thunderstorms over the entire region later in the day.

The agency envisaged patches of clouds on Tuesday with sunshine intervals over the northern part, with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba states.

According to the forecast: “Later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Kaduna, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa and Jigawa states.

“Patches of clouds with sunshine intervals are expected over the North Central region, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Kwara and Niger states during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi, Benue and Niger states.”

NiMet predicted a cloudy atmosphere over the southern states, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states during the morning hours.

It expects rain over most parts of the region later in the day.

“On Wednesday, sunny atmosphere with patches of clouds are anticipated over the northern region, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Borno, Taraba and Adamawa states during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Patches of clouds with sunshine intervals are expected over the North Central region, with prospects of thunderstorms expected over parts of Plateau, the Federal Capital Territory, Niger, Kwara and Nasarawa states during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Cloudy atmosphere is expected over the Southern states during the morning period. Later in the day, rains are expected over the entire region,” NiMet forecast.

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