Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

The people have spoken: they want a fairer, greener country

This post is by Joshua Emden, research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

If you put people at the heart of efforts to solve the climate and nature crises, then opportunity abounds. This is the core message presented by the final report of IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission, Fairness and Opportunity.

But this didn’t just come from think tank policy researchers. Rather, it’s a message of hope and warning from people across the country whose lives will inevitably be affected both by the climate crisis itself and the policy responses to it.

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Without a plan there won’t be enough energy for low carbon transport by 2050

This post is by Dr Philippa Horton, business manager for the UK FIRES programme.

Whilst the transport sector is taking on the task to decarbonise, there is an even bigger challenge ahead around the energy needed to do it. There simply won’t be enough zero carbon energy to meet the projected demand for green transport in 2050. Plans to deliver transport services with zero emission fuels will not be enough on their own, a new focus on energy efficiency is required to make sure it can happen.  

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We need the power to help our chalk streams recover

This post is by Charles Rangeley-Wilson, author, conservationist and chair of the CaBA Chalk Stream Restoration Group.

In the post-war years, the immense bodies of filtered rainwater held within the chalk aquifers must have seemed like manna from heaven, providing easy, high quality water to a growing population and the south east’s burgeoning industry and agriculture. A very few far sighted commentators predicted the environmental damage that would result from over use of this resource, but not enough to turn the tide. Consequently, abstraction of chalk aquifers grew and grew towards a late 1980s peak when, in some catchments in drier years, we were taking more water out of the valleys than fell from the sky into them. Even when rainfall was good, unsustainable volumes of water were taken and our precious chalk streams dried up.

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The UK’s new ‘right to repair’ is not a right to repair

This post is by Libby Peake, head of resource policy at Green Alliance, and Ugo Vallauri of The Restart Project.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of a gadget or appliance failing before it should and finding it too hard, too expensive or just too much hassle to get it fixed. In fact, it seems to be happening more and more often, and the government has noticed, saying it wants to address wasteful and aggravating premature obsolescence.

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Tackling climate change is a job for the whole voluntary sector not just green groups

This post is by Richard Hebditch, director of external affairs at the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF).

 The latest progress report from the Climate Change Committee makes it crystal clear that all sectors and organisations need to be part of the solution to climate change, and that the UK’s net zero target has helped to create the conditions for growing commitments from business and government.

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What’s in store for the next phase of the Circular Economy Task Force

This post is by Libby Peake, head of resources and Tom Booker, policy assistant at Green Alliance.

In 2012, the year we launched our Circular Economy Task Force (CETF), our annual review noted: “Circular economy thinking has begun to influence economic policy in Germany, China and Japan. It is beginning to gain traction in the UK, but we still have a long way to go.”

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What the data is already telling us about biodiversity net gain planning policy

This post is by Sophus zu Ermgassen of the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent.

Although the government has acknowledged the need for ambitious action to prevent loss of biodiversity, it is committed to the rapid expansion of potentially environmentally damaging infrastructure under Project Speed. This is central to its plan to level up and stimulate the post-coronavirus recovery. But can these two ambitions be reconciled? Is it possible to improve the UK’s nature whilst also expanding infrastructure’s footprint across the country?

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Infrastructure should be at the heart of the UK’s climate adaptation strategy

This post is by James Heath, chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission.

I write this from a modern flat in the centre of a big city on the hottest day of the year so far, unable to open my windows because a telecoms operator is digging up my street to lay full fibre broadband cables.

I hesitate to complain about my situation, not least as there will be many millions in far more precarious situations as a result of global warming, and because faster internet connections can reduce more carbon intensive activities like the daily commute.

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Protecting landscapes must be a collaboration of culture, heritage and nature interests

This post is by Alison Barnes FRSA FLI, CEO New Forest National Park Authority.

As we think about and shape the future of protected landscapes, the role they play in the big issues of our time has rightly come to the fore. They are increasingly viewed as ‘engine rooms’ for a greener future focused on recovery of climate, nature and people, and imagined as nodes for an extended network of connected landscapes that could run as green veins across cities and the countryside alike. 

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