Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

Switching to low carbon heating requires urgent action and leadership

This post is by Dr Richard Lowes, from the University of Exeter’s Energy Policy Group.

Even if the UK meets its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and other countries follow similar paths, the risk of pushing the world beyond 1.5°C of warming is still significant.

The difference between 1.5°C and 2°C is genuinely upsetting (including, but not limited to, expected irreversible damage to key ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves, and unmanageable coastal zone damage). I won’t comment on what going beyond 2°C looks like.

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UK energy policy is still weighed down by the nuclear dream

This post is by Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future.

In March 2012, four former directors of Friends of the Earth (myself, Tom Burke, Charles Secrett and Tony Juniper) wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron to warn him that the pro-nuclear bias of his advisers across government posed a significant risk to the government’s ability to fashion a coherent energy policy.

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As president of the Glasgow climate summit, the UK can’t shy away from carbon border adjustments

 This post is by Hannah Dillon, head of the Zero Carbon Campaign.

The European Commission’s proposal to implement a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) has come under increasing scrutiny over recent weeks, and this is only set to intensify as an increasing number of global leaders focus in on the need to ‘put a price on carbon’.

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Taking action to reverse nature decline now will offer good jobs for a green recovery

This post is by Zoe Avison, policy analyst at Green Alliance and was originally published on Wildlife and Countryside Link’s blog.

Taking action to reverse nature decline now will offer good jobs for a green recovery. As we surface from the pandemic, minds will turn from rescue to recovery. Emergency packages to support people and businesses will give way to more strategic decisions about the type of economy we want on the other side. The economic impacts of the pandemic are not evenly spread and a recovery that levels up the country is a major government priority. For this reason, we commissioned WPI Economics to research the link between levelling up and jobs in the nature sector, to show why green jobs should be at the heart of the government’s recovery plans.

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The government is on the brink of making a mistake over environmental principles

This post is by Georgina Holmes-Skelton, head of government affairs at the National Trust.

The environmental principles set out in EU treaties and law were the bedrock of the UK’s legal framework for protecting the environment while it was a member of the EU. Now we need to decide what our own version of these crucial legal foundations will look like in UK domestic law. This presents a challenge to ensure that the protections we have are not undermined or diminished, but also a rare and crucial opportunity.

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Including flights abroad in the UK’s climate target is a huge step forward

This post is by Greg Archer and Matt Finch of Transport & Environment.

If holiday makers ignore the cost of flights they quickly max-out their credit cards and create a cash crisis. If countries omit their international aviation (and shipping) emissions from their national carbon budgets they run the risk of overshooting their climate targets and contribute to frying the planet. So the UK’s decision to include our international flights and shipping emissions in its sixth carbon budget is not just good accountancy, it is a huge step forward towards limiting these pernicious, invisible and, to date, largely unmanaged emissions.

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We can only get good infrastructure for a greener future if the public are involved

This post is by Dr Katy Roelich, associate professor at Sustainability Research Institute, Leeds University

In its 2015 report Opening up infrastructure planning, Green Alliance argued that “…public engagement is critical to finding common ground between different stakeholders and making infrastructure delivery successful in the UK.” Six years and three national lockdowns later, we’re even more aware infrastructure’s crucial role in our daily lives.

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There’s no doubt about government green intentions, but what about its ability to follow through?

This post is by Tom Burke, chairman and founding director of E3G and former director of Green Alliance (1982-91).

Fifty years ago, extending the rule of law over the then wild frontier of the British environment was the main challenge facing environmental campaigners. Post-Brexit, the challenge we now face is protecting the rule of EU environmental law from populist politicians.

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Knepp’s planning dilemma reflects the national battle for nature

This post is by Isabella Tree: conservationist, co-Founder of Knepp Rewilding Project and author of the bestseller Wilding.

Last month the world’s first ever Rewilding Day was celebrated. But, instead of celebration at our rewilding project at Knepp in West Sussex, it was an exhausting day of activity as we launched our campaign against a proposed new development of 3,500 houses at Buck Barn. These would sever a wildlife corridor linking Knepp with St Leonard’s Forest and beyond.

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The new Lords committee will bring new scrutiny to this decade of environment and climate change action

This post is by Baroness Parminter, the chair of the new Environment and Climate Change Committee.

We have begun a crucial decade. The environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change, and using the earth’s resources faster than they can be replenished, are well known. These will be the ten years that determine whether governments, industries and citizens can change direction in time to avert global climate and environmental disaster.  The situation could not be more urgent.

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