Why Miliband and Cameron shouldn’t be shy about climate change

Climate ChangeA version of this article was first published on Labour List.

At last year’s party conference, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna said to a public meeting that he had recommended Labour’s electoral team to make a television broadcast around Ed Miliband’s work at the Copenhagen summit in 2009. It would have shown the Labour leader as someone operating comfortably and in a statesmanlike way with the world’s most powerful. But it didn’t happen and, instead of showing how Labour could stand strong on the international stage they focused on domestic energy policy, launching the prize freeze at the same conference. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political Leadership / NGO Engagement, Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t take politics out of infrastructure planning

Image courtesy of National RailIf you start talking about infrastructure, few will accuse you of playing to the gallery. The term conjures up images of civil engineers, hard hats and a lot of concrete. Yet the choices we make about infrastructure in the coming years will have profound consequences for the UK’s future, influencing our ability to grow the economy, improve quality of life, protect against flooding and reduce CO2 emissions.

Voices across the political spectrum have highlighted our failure to deliver on infrastructure. Whoever wins the next election, it is likely there will be steps to enhance our ability to deliver major projects. Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Big manifesto ideas: responsible pensions, help to heat and a resource target

Big Ben in LondonWith the 2015 general election on the horizon, we’ve asked leading thinkers and experts for their one big manifesto idea. The one they think will make a real difference to a greener Britain. Today we’re posting ideas 13,14 and 15. (Read the other twelve.)

These three proposals, including one of our own, would harness the power of pension funds, boost support for the fuel poor and steer industrial strategy to help businesses and reduce the cost of living. Continue reading

Posted in Circular Economy, Energy demand, Low carbon energy, My big idea, Politics, Resource Stewardship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are new eco technologies fit for a circular economy?

Rendered Image of Chiral Carbon Nanotube TwineBrighton’s Eco Technology Show is fast rising up the list of ‘must go to’ events for anyone in the resource stewardship arena.

Aimed particularly at local authority thinkers, doers and buyers, it showcases green transport solutions, all the latest building technologies and renewable energy, from off-grid to big kit.

Material efficiency is a growing strand and, this Friday (27 June), Green Alliance is hosting a ‘Big Debate’ at the centre of the show on the circular economy. Continue reading

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Interconnection is the solution to the energy trilemma

Network development mapThis post is by Paul Arwas who has over 20 years’ experience as a professional consultant, specialising in renewable energy and energy services.  Paul has advised governments on energy policy and some of the leading global energy companies on strategy and technology issues.

No doubt you will have heard about the energy trilemma.  Experts say we can have one or two out of a choice of secure, cheap or low carbon energy, but not all three.

But they are missing an obvious way of securing all three.  Sources of secure, cheap and low carbon energy exist and they are closer to London than Glasgow. These sources lie outside the UK, and because they don’t feature in economists’ models and are outside the ken of many vested interests, they are the Cinderella of energy policy. Continue reading

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How to respond to Euroscepticism? Start by ending the CAP

Wiltshire countrysideThis post is by Miles King, senior ecologist at Footprint Ecology, and a regular blogger about nature and the environment.

If there was any doubt before, the local and euro election results have confirmed that the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU now hangs in the balance. Euroscepticism has shown its face.

From its inception, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been central to the EU. Its original purpose was to ensure that the food shortages which haunted post war Europe would never happen again. But, from rational beginnings, a monster was born. Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Europe, Nature and wildlife, Policy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

What horsemeat can teach us about minimising risk

Beautiful brown thoroughbred horse head at farmThis post first appeared on BusinessGreen.

Have you ever eaten horse? Not consciously perhaps but last year’s meat adulteration scandal suggests it’s more than possible. The scandal revealed just how clueless some of the biggest and most trusted UK brands were about what went in to the products they put their label on. The scandal also highlighted the difficulty of knowing exactly where materials, components and ingredients come from, something that is of growing concern to manufacturers, regulators and investors alike.    Continue reading

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Big manifesto ideas: inspiration on innovation, planning and UK jobs

parliamentWith less than a year to go until the next election, we’re focused on stimulating strong ideas for the new parliament. As well as offering our own, we’re asking other leading thinkers and experts for their one big manifesto idea.

Today’s three proposals would boost UK jobs, stimulate the low carbon economy and give people more control over shaping where they live. There’s a lot to like, here and in the nine other ideas we’ve posted so far in this series, on the 16 May20 May and 29 May. Continue reading

Posted in Green economy, Low carbon energy, My big idea, Policy, Politics, Sustainable Business, Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If the US EPA is waging war on coal, what does it mean for Paris 2015?

Power plant near Page, Arizona, USAThis post is by Bryony Worthington, founder and director of the Sandbag Climate Campaign.

Announcements in the US on Monday received a huge amount of coverage. In his search for a climate legacy, President Obama has sidestepped the political impasse on Capitol Hill and used his presidential authority to bring in new regulations designed to limit emissions from the power sector. Continue reading

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Economic pluralism, yes – but don’t ignore the planet

NASA_Earth_America_2010This post is by Kate Raworth and was originally posted on her blog. Kate is an economist focused on the rewriting of economics for 21st century challenges. She is a senior visiting research associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, and creator of Oxfam’s ‘doughnut’ of social and planetary boundaries. 

The rewrite of economics is on the move. Student groups from 30 countries (and rising) recently issued a call for a pluralist approach to teaching economics. Known as ISIPE – The International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics – they plainly point out that, ‘What is taught shapes the minds of the next generation of policy makers, and therefore shapes the societies we live in.’ Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Green economy, Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments