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What’s Onward This Week

On Monday, James Cleverly told the Onward’s Christmas party that the Government hoped to have the resolve of “Spartan warriors” determined to be victorious, unlike at the battle of Thermopylae. With a gentle dig at some right leaning Conservative MPs, he was proved right when not a single Tory voted against the Rwanda Bill. 

With a slightly anticlimactic ending for self-proclaimed “five families”, the curtains are closing on 2023’s political drama. The next act that beckons is an election. As Cleverly said, good governments need new ideas to be relevant and energetic. Onward hopes to rise to this challenge in 2024 with some exciting new research programmes. More on this very soon. 


✍️ Research

Talks at a somewhat chaotic UN climate summit in Dubai drew to a close on Tuesday. The deal almost collapsed over wording on fossil fuels before world leaders struck the first global agreement to transition away from coal, gas and oil. Against the backdrop of more reluctant countries, it is clear the UK has made great progress. 

The British economy is halfway to net zero, with its emissions reduced by 48% since 1990. The proportion of renewable energy has increased six-fold since 2010. Coal will be phased out a year earlier than planned next October, and by 2030, 95% of our electricity will be clean. There’s a long way to go, but the UK is undeniably leading by example.

The Government should champion this impressive record. Onward’s paper, Hotting Up, revealed that nearly seven in ten Conservative voters feel more positive about the Government when told about its climate progress, with almost two-thirds saying this meant our “efforts are paying off, we should keep going”. But – problematically – three-fifths of the public don’t believe the official figures.


📰 Media Mentions

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote in the i paper about how the Rwanda vote wasn’t a repeat of old Brexit battles.

Onward’s Angus Lloyd-Skinner writes for CapX on how building on struggling golf clubs could help the sport and ease the housing crisis.

The Spectator, Times, and Evening Standard covered James Cleverly’s speech at Onward’s Christmas Party.


🌐 Onward Online

How can the UK become a science superpower? Onward’s own Anastasia Bektimirova explains. 

https://x.com/anastasiabekt/status/1734542047850135620

What is the future of conservatism? Director of Onward’s Future of Conservatism project, Gavin Rice, shares his thoughts. 

https://x.com/gavinantonyrice/status/1734903876459876817


🗓️ Upcoming Events

image 8 - Onward Newsletter 15/12/2023

Across the UK, philanthropists have been funding causes close to the hearts of communities. Their contributions have set up football clubs for at-risk youth, regenerated town centres, and advocated for a greener future.

Yet the highest earners and wealth owners are donating proportionately less and too few wealthy donors are participating in philanthropy. As one in five charities edge towards bankruptcy, philanthropy has never been more important.

This event will celebrate the launch of Onward’s upcoming philanthropy report which explores a range of key issues around simplifying Gift Aid, reforming the wealth and financial advice sector to provide better advice on philanthropy, and on government advocacy for philanthropy.

The expert panel, led by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, will discuss how the UK can increase philanthropic funding for charities and target it towards the places and causes that stand to benefit the most.

The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A.

Date: Thursday 25th January
Time: 10:00 – 11:00
Location: Central Westminster

To sign up for this event, please click here.

image 7 - Onward Newsletter 15/12/2023

Restitch is back! Following the success of our events in Halifax and London last year, we’re excited to announce a new summit  on Friday 8th March 2024 in Coventry to explore how we can restitch our society and our places. The summit will bring together key thinkers, practitioners, local leaders and everyday citizens to discuss the biggest issues facing communities. 

We are thrilled to be partnering again with Create Streets, and to be joined this year by a new co-host: Labour Together. Do save the date and keep an eye out for registration details. If you are interested in supporting Restitch as a sponsor please contact admin@restitchsummit.org and visit www.restitch.org for more information. 


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