This post is by Stephen Joseph, CEO of the Campaign for Better Transport.
Launched to some fanfare last July by Nick Clegg, the City Deal programme is supposed to free larger urban areas from the dead hand of Whitehall, allowing local decisions on issues like infrastructure. So what will this mean for sustainable transport?
Getting transport right is essential to growing city economies. An overly centralised system under previous governments has been blamed for holding up decision making and restricting the availability of funding. Continue reading
This post by Steven Johnson, founder of Collaborative Change, first appeared on Guardian Sustainable Business.
Consumer behaviour change is the challenge of our time. As governments and brands are beginning to realise, upstream improvements are relatively easy to make compared with the herculean task of shifting consumer behaviours downstream. Continue reading
This was posted on 1 April 2013.
Today’s announcement that the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) is to close is a mark of success. It is the logical conclusion of Eric Pickles’ mission to hand back power to communities and local government. Continue reading
This post is a version of a longer essay which first appeared in Making it mutual: the ownership revolution that Britain needs, recently published by ResPublica.
I’m standing on the beach at Hvide Sande, in the northern reaches of Denmark, on a cold October morning. Strong gusts of wind pick up sand and throw it straight at my face. It’s not a good day for a picnic. But it’s a great day for the three wind turbines on the edge of this fishing village. And for their owners, the local community, who are using the income to fund a new harbour for their fishing fleet. I ask the chairman of the project whether they had had any opposition to the development. Yes, he says, one person complained. Just the one. Continue reading
Our economy has been built on a wasteful pattern: we make short-lived products out of valuable raw materials we dig out of the ground, and then stick them (and the resources that made them) back in the ground as landfill. This no longer makes sense.
The economics are clear. Even broken products contain materials which should be worth enough to keep them out of landfill. Because these products have been difficult to collect and recycle, we continue to lose the resources they’re made of. It turns out that getting materials out of landfill is surprisingly hard. Market signals haven’t been enough on their own. Continue reading
To mark world water day, here are 5 water-related facts, courtesy of Waterwise.
1. In the UK we flush 2 billion litres of water down the toilet every day.
2. In Abu Dhabi, average per capita household water consumption is 3,300 litres per day; in the UK it’s 150 litres, and to survive a human being needs about 4 litres. Continue reading
With the high-level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda meeting in Bali next week, civil society organisations around the world are making their case for what should be in the new development framework.
One thing that has united environment and development groups is trying to ensure that the next set of goals help nations develop for the long term, not just until the next extreme weather event or energy crunch. Given the increasingly serious threats facing the world’s poorest, and their dependence on the natural environment for their livelihoods and survival, the new set of goals must leave developing nations better prepared to manage the risks that they face. Continue reading
Posted in Green economy, Low carbon energy, Politics
Tagged Bali, Christian Aid, David Cameron, Greenpeace, international development, MDGs, post 2015 development, RSPB, sustainable development, WWF
This post was first published on the New Statesman blog.
After three years of vigorous disagreement the political and economic commentariat seem to have found common ground. Infrastructure. Left and right now agree that it’s vital for the UK’s economic renewal, requires much greater infrastructure investment, and the Chancellor looks set to move it closer to the centre stage in the Budget. Continue reading
Unlike most people working on environmental issues, I spend most of my time finding and telling good news stories. When not editing the Green Alliance blog, I work on earthrise, an environmental TV show on Al Jazeera English that features promising solutions to environmental problems.
While I think we need to be realistic about the scale of the challenge, evidence suggests that there’s no quicker way to turn off your audience (whether they’re sitting on a sofa or in parliament) than being a full time purveyor of bad news.
So to lighten up your Friday afternoon, I thought I’d give you three reasons to be cheerful, gleaned from my experiences on earthrise. Continue reading
This post is by Councillor Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham Council. A longer version will appear in the Spring issue of Green Alliance’s journal, Inside Track.
Two to three times a week I cycle to work, not primarily to reduce my carbon footprint but because it helps me to keep fit and saves money. I have solar panels on my house because the financial rate of return is far higher than I get in a savings account. I am also pleased that a by-product of these two acts is a reduction in my carbon footprint. Continue reading
Posted in Green economy, Low carbon energy, Uncategorized
Tagged carbon footprint, climate, district heating, enlightened self interest, Graham Chapman, nottingham, solar panel, tram, transport