This post is by Ben Caldecott, Green Alliance trustee, associate fellow of Bright Blue and author of Green and responsible conservatism: embedding sustainability and long-termism within the UK economy.
The build up to the UN climate change conference in Paris this December began at Durban in 2011, when negotiators agreed to deliver a ‘new and universal greenhouse gas reduction protocol, legal instrument, or other outcome with legal force by 2015 for the period beyond 2020’. Paris is the last opportunity to secure such an agreement. Continue reading
This post is by Martin Nesbit, head of the Climate and Environmental Governance Programme at IEEP and former director for EU and International Issues at Defra.
A longer version of this piece appears in the latest edition of Green Alliance’s journal, Inside Track, which looks at how the UK should respond to the Great Acceleration.
Why do governments have difficulty dealing with planetary constraints? I have my own ideas, based on my own experience of, well, failing to think about planetary constraints when I was working in government. Continue reading
Alastair Harper is head of politics at Green Alliance. He’s currently participating in the US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme on climate change. This is his third report on his experiences.
As we make our journey over the shale wells and wind farms of the Great Plains to Colorado, we are joined by the pope. On the airport TV screens, on the front covers of the newspapers and in the conversations overheard in the terminal shuttle, his encyclical on climate change dominates our journey. As we are now in the early stages of the presidential nominations, His Holiness has also featured as a political debate starter on talk shows. Continue reading
Alastair Harper is head of politics at Green Alliance. He’s currently participating in the US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme on climate change. This is his second dispatch reporting on his experiences.
There is no typical America or American, but Vermont makes a particular effort to be untypical. Our tour group’s van driver is a polite, thoughtful man named Reg Godin. He normally waits in the van, but when we visit Montpelier for a meeting in the grand State House, he decides to join us. The place is shut down except for a few offices, but Reg shakes hands with the security guard, then ushers us through to the State’s Senate floor, where he allows us to take pictures of ourselves brandishing the gavel. Before the last election, Reg explains, he was a Democratic state representative, serving as one of the 150 in this state. That was his job for a while, he says; now he has another one. His modest attitude is in profound contrast to the power-chasing world of DC. Continue reading
Posted in Energy demand, Environment, Low carbon energy, Political Leadership, Sustainable Economy, Uncategorized
Tagged Blue Spruce Farm, Green Mountain Power, negawatts, US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme, Vermont, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Alastair Harper is head of politics at Green Alliance. He’s participating in the US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme on climate change and will be sending dispatches over the next couple of weeks based on his experiences.
Washington is a city that changes startlingly from block to block. Take the Capitol Building, which looms over its surroundings like the younger, stockier brother of St Paul’s Cathedral, reflected in the water landscaped in front with the Washington monument in the distance. Dotted around it are countless police, tourists and lobbyists. You are vividly aware of where you are. Continue reading
Over the past five years there’s been a lot of hype about the sharing economy. Hundreds of start-ups are popping up (many of which epically fail) providing opportunities to share everything from sofas to secrets. There’s still much debate about what the sharing economy actually is, and how it overlaps with similar concepts like collaborative consumption and the peer to peer economy. Continue reading
This post first appeared on BusinessGreen.
Many didn’t believe the Prime Minister would ever agree to make a pledge on climate change. Not in the middle of a general election. And not when Lynton Crosby was so busy getting any barnacles off the boat to ensure that nothing distracted from the long term economic plan. Colleagues inquired what we would do when he didn’t sign. Did we have we a backup plan? Continue reading
Posted in Climate change, Low carbon energy, Political Leadership, Politics
Tagged A UK climate plan 2015, Al Gore, Amber Rudd, climate pledge, David Cameron, G7, Paris 2015, UN Climate Conference
This post is by Ben Goldsmith, founder of green investment business WHEB and chairman of the Conservative Environment Network. It first appeared in The Spectator.
Those on the left tend to think that British Conservatism is a derivative of US Republicanism. But environmental policy shows that it’s a far more pragmatic mix. The latest Conservative manifesto encompasses George W Bush’s marine conservation ambition and Obama’s selective interventions to raise the pace of clean technology innovation. This partly reflects the fact that the environment is still a largely non-partisan issue in British politics, but also that Cameron has protected discrete space for Conservative modernisers to bring forward new green ideas. As one of them I’m pleased with the progress we’ve been able to make. The manifesto commits our party to making ‘almost every car a zero emissions vehicle by 2050′, it reconfirms support for the Climate Change Act and promises to set up a ‘blue belt’ of massive international marine reserves. Continue reading
A representative of a leading US company recently told me that it was seeking a bigger presence in the UK because of our “thought leadership” on the circular economy.
That is in large part due to more than fifteen years of work by WRAP and Green Alliance, two organisations I have the privilege to work with, along with the Royal Society of Arts, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a host of progressive business organisations.
But how to access the wealth of excellent material available on the subject? For key entry points, here are my top ten suggestions to help you get to grips with the circular economy: Continue reading
A version of this post was first published on the Guardian’s Political Science blog.
Poets don’t often pop up at infrastructure conferences. But a few months ago, at a debate for infrastructure developers and policy makers, I began my remarks by quoting Wordsworth. Continue reading