Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

Is Twitter indicating a change in MPs’ views on climate change?

intext-twitter-blogThis post is by Rhian Ebrey. It is based on her research as a masters student at the University of Leeds.

I think that, writing this following the biggest global climate strike ever, it’s safe to say I’m not alone in feeling a growing dread with each successive IPCC report predicting the urgency of the global climate crisis. And yet, this urgency does not appear to be shared by everyone. I feel helpless and frustrated as world leaders appear hesitant to commit to the necessary changes needed to save our future and the planet. But the growing awareness of shared alarm and frustration, embodied through Greta Thunberg’s refreshingly direct speech at the UN’s COP24 climate conference last year, has sparked a social revolution, with prominent grassroots movements, including Extinction Rebellion and the Youth Strikes, growing around the world.

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While leaders debate, community energy is tackling the climate emergency

Blog_commenergy-intextThis post is by Emma Atkins of Repowering London.

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I want you to act.”

When 16 year old Greta Thunberg spoke to the World Economic Forum in January 2019, it was five months after her first school strike to protest the inaction around the climate emergency outside the Swedish parliament. Millions of school children followed in her footsteps, sparking the movement Fridays for Future. Last Friday was the world’s biggest climate strike ever; and, this time, the adults were there too.

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How to shift the UK from also ran to winner in the electric car race

in-text-image-corsa-eThis post is by Greg Archer, UK director at Transport and Environment

Measures to reduce CO2 emissions from cars have so far failed. Minimal improvements in the efficiency of new cars have merely offset the steady rise in vehicle mileage, causing UK car emissions to effectively flatline over the past 30 years. There are several causes: the failure to invest in alternatives to car use; the falling cost and increased level of car ownership; and the focus of the car industry on maximising profits, selling ever bigger and more powerful cars, whilst limiting the choice and availability of low and zero emissions electric models. There are no silver bullets but there are positive signs that a revolution is underway that will drive a sharp reduction in emissions.

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The government isn’t putting its money where its mouth is on the environment

Dormouse wikimedia commons_Danielle ShwarzThis post is by Alistair Taylor, senior policy officer at the RSPB.

The news that substantial areas of the Amazon rainforest have been set on fire crystallised opinion on the need for urgent and effective action to protect our environment and climate. Prime Minister Boris Johnson went as far as stating:

“In a week where we have all watched, horrified, as the Amazon rainforest burns before our eyes, we cannot escape the reality of the damage we are inflicting on the natural world.

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Ben Pontin’s new book doesn’t make an environmental case for Brexit

pontin smallThis post is by Nigel Haigh, former director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and chair of Green Alliance from 1989 to 1998.

Few people now remember the peculiar character of British environmental policy that existed before the EEC (now EU) began to exert an influence in the mid-1970s.  Many reading this blog may not even have been born then. Read more

Conversations at citizens’ juries are constructive, sensible and often brilliant

citizens jury featuredThis post is by Lucy Bush, research director at BritainThinks

Deliberative research has been part of policy-making in the UK since the ’90s when BritainThinks’ founding partners, Deborah Mattinson and Viki Cooke ran the first-ever UK Citizens’ Jury. This jury, commissioned in 1994 by IPPR, explored the citizens’ take on health rationing. We’ve been using deliberative methodologies at BritainThinks since we were set up over nine years ago, helping government, businesses and not-for-profits put the citizen centre-stage to revitalise the public debate and bring fresh perspectives to complex policy challenges. Read more

A ‘can do’ attitude to environmental challenges must be part of Britain’s brighter future

natural england smallThis post is by Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England.

The prime minister was right to strike a note of optimism in his first speech to the country.

Environmental questions can seem relentlessly gloomy, with measures to cut pollution and recover the environment appearing like unaffordable sacrifices that get in the way of the real challenges. Read more

How one meeting with my constituents made me take climate change seriously

time is now smallThis post is by Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon. It was first posted on his blog

MPs get lobbied a lot. Pretty much daily. Its part of the job and there is a growing industry set up to influence us to act in all kinds of ways and pass all kinds of laws. I can’t recall the last time a lobbying exercise persuaded me to change tack. Read more

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