This post is by US journalist Jim Witkin, based on an interview with William McDonough, co-author of a seminal book on the circular economy, Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. Green Alliance hosted its UK launch in 2009. Here, McDonough talks about his new book. This article was originally posted on Guardian Sustainable Business.
Designer, adviser and author William McDonough wants us to think differently about how we design our products, buildings and urban environments.
McDonough, who often sports a bow tie, has the look of a professor. He speaks softly even as he discusses some very weighty topics. “Design is the first signal of human intention,” he told me in a recent interview, “and if our intention is to destroy the planet, we’re doing a great job.” Continue reading
This guest post is by energy and climate change consultant Paula Owen. It first appeared on GreenBiz.com
Behaviour change interventions have so far had surprisingly limited success in motivating wider society into taking positive environmental action. Despite constant bombardment of messages regarding ice caps melting, sea levels rising, polar bears drowning, exceptional droughts, and 100-year storm occurrences becoming more frequent, a majority of the population still do nothing more than put the recycling out once a week and buy fair trade bananas from their local supermarket. Continue reading
This post is by Matthew Lockwood, senior research fellow at the University of Exeter.
Last week I blogged on how UKIP’s rise has been mirrored by a rise in the proportion of people saying that they do not think the world is warming. There may or may not be a causal link between the two, but my hypothesis is that you would expect populism to drive climate denial, not just here but also in the US, in the form of the Tea Party movement. Let’s assume that my hypothesis is correct. In the long term populism tends to self-destruct but, unfortunately, it can do a lot of damage before that happens. So what should those who are concerned with the effects on climate policy do about it?
Posted in Behaviour change, Communications, Low carbon energy, Politics, Psychology
Tagged Brian Cox, climate change denial, climate sceptics, David Mitchell, Marshall MacLuhan, Matthew Lockwood, Nigel Farage, populism, UKIP
This post is by Christine Allen, director of policy and public affairs at Christian Aid.
At Christian Aid we strongly believe that, unless development is also environmentally resilient, we can’t end poverty. The UN High-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda holds its final meeting in New York next week, before reporting to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of this month.
Now is the time to ensure that this new framework puts all countries in a position where they can develop sustainably for the long term. Continue reading
This post is by Matthew Farrow, director of policy at the Environmental Services Association, writing in a personal capacity.
I recently attended a judicial review hearing for the first time. The subject was Defra’s interpretation of certain parts of the revised Waste Framework Directive. As I spent two long days listening to highly paid QCs argue over the precise legal meaning of the phrases ‘subject to’ and ‘necessary to facilitate or improve’, I recalled the hostility from many in the UK’s green movement to David Cameron’s EU speech back in January. Continue reading
This post is by Matthew Lockwood and first appeared on Political Climate.
I’ve blogged before on my ideas about the importance of seeing climate scepticism as a political phenomenon related to populism. With yesterday’s county council election results now showing a big UKIP vote, today seems an appropriate time to note that the rise in UKIP support correlates pretty well with an increase in scepticism expressed in polls. Continue reading
The government is looking at ways for the forthcoming Energy Bill not only to drive investment in new sources of low carbon power but also to pay for much needed investment in energy efficiency. There are different ways this could be done but the government’s lead option is to enable energy efficiency projects to take part in a new capacity market aimed at making sure we have enough electricity generating capacity to keep the lights on. Continue reading
Posted in Energy demand, Low carbon energy
Tagged ACE, capacity market, capacity mechanism, Ed Davey, EE FiT, Energy Bill, Energy efficiency, Energy Efficiency Feed-in Tariff, Nick Eyre, The Co-operative, WWF
This post is by Ian Thornton, deputy director at the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences. He is former research associate at Nesta, where he researched and wrote Our frugal future: lessons from India’s innovation system with Kirsten Bound.
India is developing a specialism in ‘frugal’ innovation, with entrepreneurs responding to limitations in resources (whether financial, material or institutional) and turning them into an advantage. This innovation is not being driven directly by environmental concerns. “India, so far, has done this out of compulsion. The combination of scarcity and aspiration was the trigger”, says Ramesh Mashelkar, one of India’s most eminent scientists and a board member of the Tata Group. Continue reading
Last week, I attended ‘Redesigning the future‘, an RSA Great Recovery debate on the role of design in a circular economy.
Redesign certainly makes circular systems cheaper and more effective. In the case of end-of-life vehicles, design for recycling will help to turn previously unrecycled plastic, glass, and electronics from old cars into nearly £40 million of recovered resources in the UK by 2015. Continue reading
This article was first published by The New Statesman.
It may surprise some on the centre left but there is nothing innate to Conservatism that makes it less able to take pragmatic decisions in favour of sensible environmental policy. It has had a refreshing ability to acknowledge the intrinsic value of nature and stewardship even if it has become more conflicted about the means to deliver these outcomes. It is a broad church that spans from the one nation Heseltines to the radical free marketeers like John Redwood. But, if there is one thing that unites them, it’s the belief that markets offer most of the answers. Continue reading