This post is by Matt Williams, a committee member of A Focus on Nature, the UK’s leading youth conservation organisation.
A few days ago I happened upon Some thoughts on the common toad, a little known essay by George Orwell. As toads slowly awake across the UK right now, Orwell’s celebration of the end of winter was a timely read. Continue reading
The fifth in our series of seminars with economic experts took place on 11 March with a discussion on fiscal austerity with Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Below is a brief overview of our discussion, with short audio clips. Continue reading
This post is by Richard Black, director of the ECIU.
It was just over ten years ago that Sir David King, then chief scientific adviser to the British government, beckoned a small group of journalists into a conference room to extol the potential of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Continue reading
This post is by Duncan Brack, freelance researcher, former DECC special adviser and Green Alliance associate.
‘What does it take to get green policies implemented in government?’ was the question I posed three years ago on this blog, shortly after my departure as special adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. One of my abiding memories of my government experience was the inordinate amount of time I’d had to spend arguing with special advisers in other departments over green policy. It wasn’t that we always lost the arguments – far from it, thanks to my boss Chris Huhne – it was that there was no overall mechanism to require anyone else in government to aim to be ‘the greenest government ever’. Continue reading
Lucrezia Reichlin interviewed by Julian Morgan
The fourth in our series of seminars with economic experts took place on 4 March. It was a discussion on the lessons from the financial crisis with Lucrezia Reichlin (professor of economics and chair of the economics department at the London Business School). Below is a brief overview of our stimulating discussion, with short audio clips. Continue reading
The case for carbon capture and storage (CCS) is increasingly confused. The IPCC suggests CCS makes quick, low cost decarbonisation much more feasible, and the prime minister recently declared the technology “absolutely crucial.” But a recent UCL study found that CCS makes little difference to the proportion of fossil reserves that cannot be burned. Less than a quarter of people support CCS in the UK, compared to the 80 per cent supporting renewables, and activists led anti-CCS protests at the recent Lima climate conference because they fear it will be used as a smokescreen for additional unabated fossil fuel use. Continue reading
My biggest fear for the environment in this coming election is not that it won’t feature as a major issue. That may be a blessing given the quality of the debate so far. It’s that our next government won’t have a plan for what it wants to do. So my big question to the parties is ‘What’s your green programme for the first year of government?’ Continue reading
This post is by Mike Clarke, CEO of the RSPB.
When governments put their minds to protecting our environment, they can achieve some extraordinary things.
Climate change action has the potential to be one of them. It was a small triumph of global co-operation that 195 countries ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Even though there’s still a long way to go before we have a fair, ambitious and binding new deal, it is testament to strong international leadership that countries are willing to act together. The UK’s cross party pledge on climate change, brokered by Green Alliance, demonstrates that climate commitment continues even in challenging economic times. Continue reading
This post is by Shaun Spiers, chief executive of CPRE, in advance of the Greener Britain hustings. It is also published on CPRE’s blog.
One of the myths of British politics is that people do not vote on green issues. In fact, seats are won or lost on the environment, albeit generally the local environment. Local politicians know the intensity of feeling about litter, street cleaning and the state of public parks. In national elections, housing is a big issue, particularly new housing in the countryside when more sustainable alternatives are available. Continue reading
This post is by David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF UK, in advance of the Greener Britain hustings. It also appeared on the WWF UK blog.
It feels, at last, as though we are into the final straight of what has seemed like a very long General Election campaign. The horses – perhaps a broader field than we might have expected at the beginning of this parliament – are approaching the finishing line, though only the rashest of pundits would risk a flutter on who might cross it first. Continue reading