Author Archives: Caterina Brandmayr

A year on: is the government keeping its promise to radically shift the way we travel?

It’s been a year since the Department for Transport (DfT) published its transport policy paper. This set out the context for the government’s challenge to decarbonise the UK’s largest emitting sector, ahead of launching its Transport Decarbonisation Plan. At that time, many were pleasantly surprised (including Green Alliance) at the change in tone from a department that has traditionally been a climate laggard, and many hoped the promised plan would mark a pivotal moment.

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Three takeaways from the CCC’s advice that the government really shouldn’t ignore

On Wednesday, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) proposed a level for the UK’s sixth legally binding ‘carbon budget’, its first set of advice aligned with net zero. The budget proposal, for a 78 per cent reduction by 2035, comes together with a detailed route map for how to get to net zero by 2050 and what needs to happen now. This is a critical milestone in the country’s carbon cutting journey, one that, as the CCC chief executive Chris Stark says, “will shape the UK emissions over the next 30 years”. So, what should be the main takeaways from the 1,000-odd pages of advice the CCC has given government? Here are three important messages we think shouldn’t be missed.

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Will the PM’s plan put the environment at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery?

After weeks of uncertainty about when and whether the ten point plan would be launched, it’s finally out. This is a really significant step, as it makes clear that the government sees the need to tackle climate change and boost low carbon industries as central to supporting economic recovery and creating jobs across the country. And it reflects the strong public support that exists to prioritise action on climate and nature in the UK’s response to the pandemic.

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Without the right building blocks in place, ‘net zero’ will just be an aspiration

To most people ‘infrastructure’ is an abstract word. Something engineers and policy wonks worry about, which has little to do with their everyday lives. And yet, from the buildings we live and work in, how we move around, the way we get our energy and water, to the systems that give us access to food and other goods, infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and our society. It governs all of our choices, including how green we can be.

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The UK shouldn’t miss out on the full power of smart technology to build a greener future

After a successful few months since its launch in March this year, Tees Flex recently announced plans to expand to new destinations in the Tees Valley. This on-demand bus service has provided a convenient option for people to get to work or school, or visit their doctor, using a smart mobility app. This innovation is helping to get people out of their cars, reducing congestion and carbon emissions.

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The PM’s “technological optimism” won’t be enough for a low carbon revolution

intext-blog-citymetric-london-business-caterinaThis post was first published in CityMetric.

Launching the countdown to the COP26 climate talks last week, the prime minister was right to say climate action presents a huge industrial opportunity, one that can drive “our national agenda of uniting and levelling up our country”. The UK’s success in renewable energy is a clear example of what real policy ambition can achieve. Read more

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