Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

The Trade Bill is an opportunity for MPs to ‘take back control’ and protect the environment

INTEXT-CATTLEThis post is by David Lawrence, senior political adviser at the Trade Justice Movement. 

The UK has not had the power to strike its own trade agreements for nearly 50 years, due to EU membership. However, many people – and indeed many MPs – will be surprised to learn that, even after Brexit, parliament will have virtually no say over our trade agreements. Read more

Good planning is vital to green recovery and tackling the biodiversity crisis

intext-badgerThis post is by Simon Marsh, head of nature protection at RSPB.

“Build, build, build”. If that means building quality homes in the right places with wildlife-rich green space on the doorstep, who could object? But with rumours swirling that speeding up the planning system means cutting back vital environmental protections, and with radical planning reforms proposed, it’s time to speak up for good planning. Read more

Now is the time to really put the ‘green’ into the green recovery

small-green-spaceThis is a joint piece by Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency and Sir William Worsley, chair of the Forestry Commission.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our society and economy have been profound and will leave a lasting legacy. While the outbreak of the virus was a great shock to our system, the legacy it leaves is much more within our control. Read more

The UK risks old fashioned trade deals that completely ignore the environmental crisis

dave-sandoval-bHjmU1SRzTg-unsplash (1)This post is by Tom West, UK environment lead at ClientEarth.

Where does your stuff come from? It’s a classic environmental refrain to consider the origin of the clothes you wear, the food you eat and all the general stuff you accumulate. So the UK government’s ambitions to sign new trade deals and open our markets to new goods from around the world is really very relevant to those who care about how things are made. Read more

We need an urgent debate about gene editing

Sunrise Light over Green Wheat Field at SpringThis post is by Green Alliance associate Julie Hill.

Peers are moving to relax the EU-derived regulatory regime for gene editing, a sub-set of genetic modification (GM) techniques aimed at enhancing crops.  This is being done via an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, so the secretary of state for the environment can alter the legislation without going back to parliament. It is a short cut that threatens to rekindle a heated and unhelpfully polarised debate. Read more

As the Pope says, concern for the natural world is no longer optional

pope 2This post is by Nigel Haigh, former director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and chair of Green Alliance from 1989 to 1998.

Five years ago Pope Francis published his encyclical about our environmental predicament, called  Laudato Si’ – on care for our common home. My reaction at the time was delight that he had done so, but I failed to read it, probably like many readers of this blog. It is over 100 pages long after all. Read more

We want to repair our electronic equipment so why is it so hard to do?

gadgetsThis post is by Janet Gunter and Ugo Vallauri, co-founders of the Restart Project.

A new poll by YouGov shows that more people in Britain would like to repair their smartphones (47 per cent), as opposed to those who would rather get a new one (45 per cent). For laptops, a strong majority (58 per cent) would prefer to repair rather than replace. Read more

Younger leave voters from left and right want strong environmental protections

cambridge-city-architecture-1503400878nuXThis post is by Emma Rose, director of Unchecked UK.

Over the past eight weeks we have learnt a lot about what British people think is important. We have learnt that the public see compassion as a desirable response in a crisis. We have seen how much people care about the wellbeing of others in their communities. And we have learnt that citizens can – and do – change their behaviour when they understand the reasons for doing so, when these reasons chime with their own interests, and when rules are seen to fairly apply to all. Read more

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