EU 'agrees 40 per cent cut to carbon emissions'

Reports that European leaders have 'struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40 per cent by 2030' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

But the Guardian reports that "key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised". The newspaper says that, "as well as the greenhouse gas, two 27 per cent targets were agreed – for renewable energy market share and increase in energy efficiency improvement. The former would be binding only on the EU as a whole. The latter would be optional, although it could be raised to 30 per cent by a review in 2020".

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that chancellor George Osborne "is to propose handing more powers to England’s cities next month in his planned ‘nothern powerhouse’ but he is reluctant to devolve tax-raising ability". The newspaper says Osborne "is looking at giving the regions more say over science, skills, schools and housing, as well as more control over the strategic road network". But it says the chancellor is "concerned that giving tax powers to cities ... might lead to tax competition".

Writing in the Guardian, columnist Simon Jenkins says that the Tories "must offer more than words if they’re serious about giving local councils more power". He says the Tories "promised the moon" on devolution but they have failed to deliver. "In his pamphlet The Permissive State, [Prime Minister David Cameron promised] to ‘reduce the reach of Whitehall … give councils greater control over spending money … empower local people to take action themselves’. It was nonsense. Cameron heads the most centralist government ever seen – most savagely in finance, planning, education and transport", Jenkins says.

The Independent reports that a new house price survey "looking at selected UK cities shows the three cities with the highest growth over the last 12 months are London (18.1 per cent), Cambridge (17.9 per cent) and Bristol (14.1 per cent). Glasgow (4.3 per cent) and Leicester (4.8 per cent) experienced the lowest growth". The findings from Hometrack "show average house prices have risen £15,300 in value in the last year", the paper says.

The newspaper also reports that the "spiralling cost of buying a first home in the UK means that almost half of all renters are not sure they will ever be able to get on the property ladder, a survey has revealed". The newspaper says that a study of Royal Mail’s Redirection service customers found that "just 56 per cent of those renting in Britain said they had plans to buy their own home at some point in the future, with the biggest factor preventing people from doing so being the vast deposit required – nowhere more so than in London".

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