THIS week my I went to Bonn for the UN Climate Change Conference where, together with my ministerial counterpart from Canada, I launched the global Powering Past Coal Alliance, a group of more than 25 nations and states committed to ending the use of unabated coal power.

Reducing global coal usage – the most polluting fossil fuel – must happen for us to meet our Paris agreement targets, and this was a good example of how we can use our ambitious domestic actions for global leadership – we will end the use of coal in Britain for power generation by 2025.

Back in Parliament, it was a pleasure to join Cllr Richard Gamble at the Canal and River Trust meeting. Our own waterway jewel, the Kennet and Avon Canal, features in the work that the trust is doing to assess the benefits that canals bring for local people and visitors, and it was exciting to hear that our waterways offer so many benefits, from economic growth to recreation and better mental and physical health.

Huge thanks should go to our local volunteers who do so much to make visits to our canal a pleasure, and I was motivated by the event to plan at least one pre-Christmas kayak from Pewsey Wharf!

But the big excitement this week was the autumn Budget in which the Chancellor set out a balanced approach to keep our public finances strong, help people with the cost of living and invest for an exciting but challenging future.

With our national debt now planned to fall every year from 2018 and our deficit approaching two per cent (from 10 per cent in 2010) we are winning the battle to balance the books, and future-proofing the economy to protect against future shocks.

But within that target he was able to announce big increases in our National Productivity fund which will invest £30 billion in infrastructure, skills and emerging technologies, and help for businesses with a £2.3billion package of help with business rates.

To help us with the cost of living we will see increases in the National Living Wage, another cut in income tax by raising the personal allowance to £11,850, a freeze in fuel duty for the eighth year running and big investments to support our NHS.

And to help fix our broken housing market so that younger people can buy or rent a home we will spend more than £40 billion in this Parliament, and reform planning to deliver 300,000 homes a year (the highest number since 1970) and abolish stamp duty for more than 80 per cent of first-time buyers.