This post is by Rebecca Willis, independent adviser on environment and sustainability and Green Alliance associate, working with us on our Climate Leadership Programme.
Poll after poll shows that community energy projects, whether co-operatively owned renewables or local energy action groups, are astonishingly popular. Continue reading
It’s rare to find a government policy which visibly annoys studiously neutral mandarins, but I now regularly encounter energetic rejection of renewable energy targets by senior officials.
Targets are considered an affront to rational thinking, a source of extra cost and an unnecessary constraint, binding the government’s hands on energy policy. Continue reading
This post is by Dr Bruce Tofield, associate consultant at the Adapt Low Carbon Group, University of East Anglia.
In launching Next steps for shale production, energy minister Michael Fallon said that fracking “is an exciting prospect, which could bring growth, jobs and security”. There is, however, great concern about the damaging local environmental impact of fracking in Britain. Less remarked upon is fossil fuel lock-in, highlighted recently by Rachel Cary. As Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has pointed out “If the UK ever becomes dependent on shale gas, it will never be able to kick the fracking habit.” Continue reading
This post is by Rebecca Willis, independent adviser on environment and sustainability and Green Alliance associate, working with us on our Climate Leadership Programme. This is a shortened version of her recent presentation to the Tyndall Centre’s Radical Emissions Reduction conference.
Crossword fanatics call it the ‘penny-drop moment’, or PDM: the moment when a series of jumbled clues falls into place, and the whole picture becomes clear. I’ve seen it happen. At the end of a long question and answer session between new MPs and a climate scientist, something clicks. The politicians realise that the development of modern societies, economies, and arguably democracy itself, has only been possible because of a stable climate, and that we can’t take the climate for granted any more. There’s a tangible change of mood as this reality sinks in, and the MPs grasp the significance of climate change for the future of politics and, indeed, their own political careers. Continue reading
This post is by Miles King, senior ecologist at Footprint Ecology, and a regular blogger about nature and the environment.
If we could create a modern equivalent of the primeval landscapes that covered Britain before modern humans started to mould the country to their own ends; would it be worth doing, how would we do it, and where? Continue reading
This post is by Dr Mark Avery who writes daily at Standing up for Nature and was formerly conservation director at the RSPB.
There are 500 days until the 2015 general election and so time is running out for the coalition government to impress the electorate with its green successes. In 2013 there have been two major NGO reports which indicate wildlife is still declining in the UK and that action by the Westminster government is inadequate. Continue reading
This post is by Caroline Julian, head of research at the independent think tank ResPublica.
The government’s announcement to reduce energy bills by an average of £50 per household per year will temporarily be a welcome relief, but only for customers of the larger energy companies. The cuts to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) insulation scheme, which will account for a £30-35 bill reduction, as with other green levies, apply only to those suppliers with over 250,000 customer accounts or 125,000 dual fuel customers, which presently includes the Big Six energy companies plus First Utility. Continue reading
This post is by Jon Cracknell, co-author of a new report from the Environmental Funders Network (EFN).
At the end of November the EFN published Passionate Collaboration?, aggregating the responses of 140 UK environmental organisation chief executives to an EFN survey carried out earlier this year. Many of the largest groups in the sector took part, along with smaller more specialised organisations. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a survey of this kind has ‘taken the pulse’ of the sector. Continue reading
While people were digesting the announcement of the latest strike prices for renewable energy, the Treasury was also releasing its latest update of the infrastructure pipeline. This reported substantially lower spending on investment in offshore wind energy up to 2020, partly compensated by higher expected investment in onshore wind. Seen against the background of the substantial cut in the pipeline of offshore wind projects, the decision to provide relatively more support for this form of renewable energy makes sense.
George Osborne will have my sympathy when he sets out his response to the latest projections in his Autumn Statement. Like his predecessors, he will be painfully aware of the inherent unreliability of these forecasts. A year ago there was talk of a triple dip recession, but now we have had a few quarters of decent growth. Yet, despite the recent positive statistics, there remains a huge gulf in perception between the optimists, who see the emergence of a robust recovery, and the pessimists who see a lack of firm foundations for anything beyond a short lived pick up. Continue reading