Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

Tax reform for climate justice: are we ready for it?

This post is by Sara Hall, head of movement and partnerships at Tax Justice UK

The climate crisis is intensifying and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing levels of inequality in the UK. This highlights the urgent need for a just and green recovery and, more specifically, for the tax and climate justice agendas to go hand-in-hand. But we need to get our act together quickly to make sure they do.

Read more

Despite new government powers to recover the oceans, still nothing is guaranteed

This post is by Helen McLachlan, WWF-UK’s fisheries programme manager and chair of Greener UK’s work on fisheries.

As the Fisheries Act receives Royal Assent, it is important to reflect where we have got to, four years after the Brexit referendum. From the outset of the legislative process, Greener UK urged the UK and devolved governments to take this once in a generation opportunity to establish the UK as world leaders in sustainable fisheries management.

Read more

Why care should be at the heart of climate policy

This post is by Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the climate emergency, business & energy and transport

I recently visited Dose of Nature, a charity in Kew established to promote the mental and physical health benefits of engaging with the natural world. Through educative activities and hands on experience, the charity’s work feeds into popular narratives of natural settings as places of refuge and comfort in times of psychological distress that can inspire wonder, serenity and peace.

Read more

Will the government’s new Environmental Land Management scheme live up to its promise?

This post is by Alice Groom, senior policy officer at the RSPB.

Work done by farmers will be central to bringing back wildlife and protecting our most cherished landscapes. And business as usual is not an option, as we are losing our wildlife and our pollinators at an alarming rate, our soil is eroding away and most of our rivers are in a terrible condition. 

Read more

Three tests the government’s green recovery plans should be measured against

This post is by Belinda Gordon, strategy director and Roz Bulleid, interim deputy policy director at Green Alliance

While the risk of a second coronavirus wave was always there, the rapidity with which we’ve been driven back into lockdown has taken the country by surprise. We now feel a long way off ‘recovering’ from the pandemic, both in health and economic terms. While the chance of a vaccine in the next few months looks promising, there is broad agreement that it won’t be the silver bullet that allows life to ‘go back to normal’ anytime soon. So, the reality is that we need to learn to live with the virus, at least in the short term. This includes working out how we continue to make progress to address the other, longer term crisis we face: that of climate change and the destruction of nature.

Read more

After the bill, it’s time to act: what next for agriculture and trade?

This post is by David Walsh, public affairs adviser for WWF UK and a contributor to Greener UK’s work on the Agriculture Bill. 

The Agriculture Bill has finally completed its long, and at times tortuous, passage through parliament. For the past year, we’ve seen the debate focus on the effect of trade on agriculture, with millions of people signing petitions, tweeting and writing to their MPs. But, amongst this noise, it is important not to forget the fundamental principle of the bill: that public money should pay farmers to deliver public goods, which has remained at the heart of our future agriculture policy.  

Read more

The single misuse problem: it’s not just about plastic

This post is by Colin Church, chief executive of IOM3 and chair of Green Alliance’s Circular Economy Task Force.

Single use plastic is evil, or so we are repeatedly told in the media. From ‘Blue planet’ to ‘The war on plastic’, much recent discussion has focused on moving away from plastic. I’m not going to argue that plastic stirrers are a good thing, but ‘plastic bad – all other materials good’ is just too simplistic; I want to make the case for a different approach.

Read more

The UK needs to fix its regulatory enforcement problem if it wants a resilient economy

This post is by Emma Rose, director of Unchecked UK.

The government has set out strong ambitions with respect to the environment, alongside welcome assurances that both Brexit and the Covid-19 crisis will lead to a strengthening, not a weakening, of environmental standards.

However, robust rhetoric will only get us so far. Ambitious polices and regulations are only as good as the enforcement which underpins them. Now, new research into the UK’s regulatory infrastructure reveals the sorry state of the regulators which enforce our most important environmental laws.

Read more

Phasing out cars with engines: without breaking the bank

This post is by Greg Archer, UK director of Transport & Environment

The announcement of when the UK should phase out the sale of new cars with engines is imminent and provoking fierce debate. Back in February, the government proposed that sales of new cars and vans with engines should end within 15 years at the latest. The maths was simple: to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, all vehicles with engines need to be off the road by then so the last new car with an engine should be sold by the early 2030s.

Read more

The ABC of town centre revival

This post is by Dr Nicholas Falk, director of the URBED Trust.

The coronavirus pandemic justifies radical changes in how the UK deals with failing town centres. Pollution from the revival of car use and home deliveries after the lockdown is making public health worse, and many towns are going in the wrong direction, as more local jobs are lost. Yet, by restoring town centres, the UK could create many more homes and improve wellbeing, while reducing carbon emissions without eating up green fields. Early results scould be secured if the government combined the aims of its White Paper on Planning for the future with incentivising local initiatives through a simple ABC: Ambition Brokerage and Connectivity.

Read more
« Older Entries