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Leaders must act at COP26 to prevent climate disaster

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pictured on September 23, 2021.

Leon Neal | Getty Images

World leaders must “walk the walk” at the COP26 summit in Glasgow this November to avert a climate catastrophe, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told CNBC Thursday.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe,” Khan warned that inaction and delay would have a disastrous impact on the environment, and called on delegates attending the summit later this year to make serious changes. 

“Unless there’s bold action nationally and internationally, I worry about the catastrophic consequences, not just in sub-Saharan Africa, not just in countries in South Asia or the Antarctic, but in cities in America like New York, in Germany and in London, where this summer we’ve faced flash flooding and the consequences of heatwaves,” he said.

During Khan’s tenure as mayor, London has seen the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone, which charges vehicles that do not meet certain emissions standards for crossing its perimeters. Next month, the ULEZ is expanding to include more roads outside the city center. He has also introduced the £22 million ($30 million) Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, which aims to support projects to improve air quality in the city.

However, Khan told CNBC Thursday that regional and city leaders needed support from federal governments to take effective action on climate change.

“COP26 has got to walk the walk,” Khan said, and, referring to the signing of the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015: “In Paris, the world set out what needed to be done — now we need to set out how.”

He added that he did feel somewhat optimistic that Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, would take ownership of the issue ahead of COP26 in November.

“The prime minister going to the United Nations and taking a leadership role in relation to the next 40 days gives me optimism,” Khan told CNBC. “I think it’s really important that we as the host of COP26 show moral leadership and real leadership. That means making sure we can together provide the $100 billion required every year [to mitigate the effects of climate change], and also showing the world how we’re going to walk the walk.”

“We’ve got a target in this country to reduce our carbon emissions by 68% by 2030,” he added. “We’ve got to show, over the course of the next few weeks, how we’re going to do that, and that will hopefully influence other countries to follow suit.”

‘Turning point for humanity’

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Johnson dubbed the impending COP26 summit “the turning point for humanity.”

“The world is not some indestructible toy, some bouncy plastic romper room against which we can hurl ourselves to our heart’s content,” he told delegates. “Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage … In just 40 days’ time we need the world to come to Glasgow to make the commitments necessary.”

He urged fellow world leaders to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century.

“But if we are to stave off these hikes in temperature we must go further and faster — we need all countries to step up and commit to very substantial reductions by 2030,” Johnson said. “I passionately believe we can do it by making commitments in four areas: coal, cars, cash and trees.”

However, the prime minister faced criticism from environmental group Greenpeace after giving his address.

“The Prime Minister’s quite right to say we’re at a turning point. The truth is that as correct as those words to world leaders are, they ring hollow when set against Johnson’s failure to take decisive action to cut emissions at home,” Kate Blagojevic, head of climate at Greenpeace U.K., said in a statement.

“From ending the search for new oil to finally providing proper financial support to help the public cut carbon from their homes, there really is no end of action the government can and should be doing. The problem right now is they’re is failing miserably.”

Under Britain’s Climate Change Act, the country aims to cut emissions by 100% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels.

Part of the strategy has been the introduction of “carbon budgeting,” which sees limits set on the country’s emissions for five-year periods. In April, the government announced that its sixth Carbon Budget — covering 2033 to 2037 — would “set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law,” aiming to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

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UK secures $13 billion of investment as it seeks to overcome post-Brexit slump

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference in Downing Street on September 7, 2021 in London, England.

Toby Melville – WPA Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON — The British government is set to announce that it has secured £9.7 billion ($13.4 billion) of new foreign investment, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks to reverse the post-Brexit freefall in financing.

The government is hosting its first ever Global Investment Summit on Tuesday in a bid to convince the world’s largest international investors to pump money into the U.K.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be hoping to bolster support for his government’s “Global Britain” agenda in the wake of Brexit, with foreign direct investment into the U.K. having nosedived since the country voted to leave the EU in 2016.

The summit comes at a tricky time for the U.K. which is facing a slew of economic crises, including labor shortages, record-high natural gas prices and supply chain constraints.

A substantial portion of the event’s guest list hails from the U.S., including Bill Gates, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman.

According to Downing Street, the 18 deals already secured will lead to the creation of least 30,000 jobs and drive funding for key sectors such as hydrogen energy, sustainable housing and carbon capture and storage.

“This is just the start. We will see new partnerships for green growth forged at today’s Global Investment Summit, as we look ahead to COP26 and beyond,” Johnson said in a statement.

The U.K.’s Department for International Trade has also launched a new online platform for international investors to identify opportunities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The “Investment Atlas” will offer 53 strategic investment opportunities, including offshore wind substructures in Scotland and manufacturing ports in the northeast of England.

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Job recruiters weigh up the value of video resumes

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When TikTok launched its resume feature this summer, it was trying to tap into a market for young professionals and graduates looking for jobs.

Video resumes, where candidates film a short clip laying out their qualifications and fit for a job, have been around a while but TikTok’s move into the area shone a fresh light on the job-hunt tactic.

Jonathan Javier’s career consulting firm Wonsulting collaborated with TikTok on its feature.

“It’s sort of like a tell-me-about-yourself. It’s something you won’t necessarily see on a black and white paper but you dive a little bit deeper into it,” Javier told CNBC.

“Give a quick introduction of yourself, your background, are you first generation. For me, I would say I’m first generation, I come from a Filipino background, I graduated or am currently at XYZ school, talk about your occupation and talk about what you’re currently doing right now. Talk about your past experiences that are relevant to that job or company.”

Video resumes are still a rarity for most jobs but have gained some traction among tech start-ups. 

“A video resume helps show enthusiasm level and give you a feel for the person. I have definitely chosen to interview and hire candidates in part because they did a video resume. That said, I think a video resume is best combined with a written resume,” Shaun Heng, vice president of operations at CoinMarketCap, said.

Tyler Lessard, chief video strategist at Canadian video analytics firm Vidyard, is also a fan but advises that videos are kept succinct.

“The purpose of the video is not just to say what’s already on your resume so don’t just use it as a way to walk through your past experience and education,” he said.

“It’s important that these aren’t too long. As much as you might draw someone in, they’re usually not going to spend any more than one to two minutes watching a video, even for a very interesting candidate.”

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how travelers earn after moving to Spain, Norway

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Many people dream of starting a new life in a new country.

But problems, such as earning money, finding a place to live and meeting people, hold them back.

Here are two women travelers who didn’t let these details stop them from moving to Europe — and how they feel about their decisions today.

From tropical island to the Arctic

It’s common to yearn for a slower pace of life. But moving from bustling Singapore to a small town in Scandinavia is likely too slow — and too frigid — for most.

However, for 27-year-old Weisi Low, living in the Arctic created exhilarating adventures and a stronger appreciation for the great outdoors.

After growing up fewer than 100 miles from the equator, Low now lives in Longyearbyen, Norway — a town of 2,300 residents that is one of the world’s northernmost permanent settlements. It’s located on the Svalbard archipelago, which is east of Greenland and about 650 miles from the North Pole.

Weisi Low moved to Norway’s Svalbard archipelago from Singapore in 2019.

Courtesy of Weisi Low

But Low knew what she was getting into. In 2017, she visited Svalbard as a tourist during its “dark season,” which blankets the town in darkness from November to January.

“I have always been fascinated with traveling to secluded places and was keen on experiencing something new and out of the ordinary,” said Low.

When I first arrived, I printed copies of my resume and went around town handing them out.

Weisi Low

Singaporean traveler

Back at home, she continued to think about Norway, realizing she preferred views of snow-capped mountains over high-rise buildings. After graduating from college in 2019, Low moved to Norway with 3,000 Singapore dollars ($2,229) and a 50-liter backpack.

“I didn’t want a life where I just woke up to buildings after buildings,” she said. “I knew early on that the conventional route many took will not excite me.”

She gave her new adventure a timeline too — three years. “If my plans fail, all I lose is just three years of my life,” she said.

Weisi Low spends most of her time in Svalbard outdoors, enjoying views of snow-capped mountains and the glaciers.

Courtesy of Weisi Low

To make ends meet in Svalbard, Weisi worked as a cycling tour guide and at a shop selling arctic equipment. She also works remotely as a marketing manager, with clients around the world.

“When I first arrived, I printed copies of my resume and went around town handing them out to establishments in Longyearbyen,” she said. “That gave me the chance to grow my network and meet new people.”

“Just like in Singapore, everyone knows each other as it’s a very small and tight-knit community,” she said. “Forging new friendships with people of different walks of life was one of the biggest highlights.”

The Northern Lights can be seen from Svalbard from late September to the middle of March.

Courtesy of Weisi Low

In a place where polar bears roam freely, and traveling via snow mobile is as normal as driving a car, Low spends most of her time outdoors, partaking in adventures she would never experience in Singapore.

“In the winter, you can drive over the glaciers as it’s all frozen. We took a hike up one of the glaciers called Longyearbreen and went under an ice cave where we had coffee,” said Low. “In the summer, the glaciers will melt, and you can see the water flowing down into the rivers and seas. It’s really beautiful.”

The Northern Lights are a common sight too, said Low. “During the polar season, you can see the lights in the middle of the afternoon since the sky remains dark for months,” she added.

Spending the past two years in Svalbard has allowed Low to grow independently and prioritize her life.

“Svalbard has taught me the importance of having a balanced lifestyle,” she said “I prioritize my work and friendships, but… also… my desire for adventure.”

Starting a hotel during a pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic caused many to rethink their work lives. But Filipina Christine Cunanan took a much bigger leap of faith by moving over 7,000 miles from home to open a hotel in Spain.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Christine Cunanan opened the Spanish luxury villa hotel La Esperanza Granada in August 2021.

Courtesy of Christine Cunanan

“Manila turned into a ghost town overnight and everything from work to birthday celebrations went online,” said Cunanan.

When the international airport in Manila reopened, she booked a flight to Tokyo, where she lives part-time and works as the editor-in-chief of a travel magazine.

On the flight, she decided to look into buying a house in Spain despite having no ties to the region. She had traveled there twice before the pandemic closed borders around the globe, and Spain was still on her mind.

“When I got back home to Tokyo, before even unpacking my bags, I went online and searched properties in Spain,” she said. “When I saw this one in Granada online, I said ‘Wow, this is beautiful.'”

The house was owned by a British couple, and it was licensed to function as a small hotel, although the owners used it as a private home.

“It was perfect,” said Cunanan, despite being “in a region where I initially knew absolutely nothing and no one.”

“People may think I exaggerate but… everyone I needed for this move and for my new business…appeared in my life at exactly the right time,” she said.

A lawyer she’d never met handled the sale, an acquaintance she had “spoken three words to at a cocktail party a year before” took possession of the keys in her absence, said Cunanan, who bought the house sight unseen.

“This acquaintance’s best friend came along to help him, and the best friend has not left the property since Day 1,” she said. “He’s now my business partner.”

La Esperanza Granada, a hotel and villa in Spain.

Courtesy of Christine Cunanan

Approximately one year after buying the house, Cunanan opened the luxury villa hotel La Esperanza Granada in August of 2021.

“Moving to Spain and renovating a hotel amidst Covid was simply a matter of one door opening after another,” she said. “Some things are just meant to be.”

In the 10 weeks that the hotel has been open, it’s hosted weddings almost every weekend, said Cunanan, adding that online reviews have been overwhelming positive.

“With just a little inkling of the adventure that awaited and way too much recklessness, I jumped from Manila to Tokyo and then straight into the life of a hotel owner in Spain,” she said. “So far it has been one of the happiest times of my life.”

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