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

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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

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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

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My big manifesto idea: three great ideas for local empowerment

London Bus Streaks Past the Houses of ParliamentWe’ve asked leading thinkers, from politics, business and green groups, to set out their one big manifesto idea for the next parliament – the one they think will make a big impact in creating a greener Britain. We are publishing them through May and June.

With six ideas already under the belt, featured in posts on the 16 May and 20 May, today’s three ideas on a local theme come from independent adviser Rebecca Willis, Guy Newey of Policy Exchange and Simon Roberts of the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Continue reading

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Newly elected MEPs now have to take some important decisions on climate  

Should yesterday’s European elections matter to us? When it comes to tackling climate change, the answer is an emphatic yes. Former MEP, Chris Huhne, argues that the values you care about should be reflected in the people sent to Brussels to represent you. They may seem faceless, distant and pointless, but they have real power on many of the issues that affect the places we live and work.

Continue reading

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Three more big manifesto ideas: a prize, industrial strategy & zero deforestation

Tafel GlühlampenLast Friday we published the first three proposals in a new series in which we’ve asked leading thinkers, from politics, business and green groups, to set out their one big manifesto idea for the next parliament – the one they think will make a big impact in creating a greener Britain.

Today’s three ideas come from Chris Huhne, the Aldersgate Group and, in a joint proposal, the Robertsbridge Group and Greenpeace UK. Continue reading

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