Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

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

Systemic solutions are the only way to avoid future environmental problems

leaf-Flockine_PixabayThis post is by Tracey Rawling Church, an independent consultant and non-executive director specialising in sustainable business. It is part of our 40th anniversary blog series.

My relationship with Green Alliance began around a decade ago when I encouraged my employer to join what was then the Resource Efficiency Task Force. As a manufacturer of office printers and copiers, Kyocera had long been a pioneer in resource efficiency, having brought to market in 1992 the first – and still the only – range of ’cartridge-free‘ office printers. Read more

Tax breaks risk undermining new farm support policy

This post is by Miles King of People Need Nature.

tractor small

The current tax system operates against the sort of public benefit that the new agricultural policy established by Michael Gove is seeking to create. English landowners receive £2.4 billion a year in tax breaks for which there is little or no benefit to society. This amount of money is almost exactly the same as landowners receive in farm subsidies and it exposes a contradiction: although the system of providing payments to farmers is being fundamentally reformed, the tax breaks received will be untouched. Read more

Natural capital is the next horizon for green investors

fern smallThis post is by Guy Thompson, managing director of EnTrade, an online marketplace in ecosystem services. He was director of Green Alliance, 2004-06.

Last week, the FTSE re-labelled oil and gas as non-renewable energy and the National Trust renounced its fossil fuel shares, just as the government launched its Green Finance Strategy at the City’s third Green Finance Summit.  Whether this chain of events was serendipity or a rare masterstroke by Number 10 communications, the message to the financial sector is clear: the future is low carbon. Read more

Can the UK rise to the global leadership challenge on climate?

This post is by Thomas Hale, associate professor of global public policy and director of China engagement at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University

lake district hikingAlthough final approval is needed, the UN will likely tap the UK to host next year’s critical climate summit. COP26, as the conference is called, will be the first test of countries’ appetite to raise their climate pledges under the historic Paris Agreement adopted in 2015. With success far from being certain, the UK will need to go beyond traditional state-to-state diplomacy and mobilise all of society. Read more

Electromobility is not a pipe dream, it’s the route to zero emissions

electric vehicle smallThis post is by Greg Archer, UK director at Transport and Environment.

The UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 is a milestone in the battle against climate change and an important signal to other EU members still debating whether to match the goal. However, setting targets is the easy part. The devil will be in the detail about how to meet them. This is particularly the case with transport, where emissions have been virtually unchanged since 1990 and now account for a third of UK total greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

What politicians can learn from our citizens’ juries on climate change

floods smallThis post is by Gwen Buck, policy adviser at Green Alliance, and Rebecca Willis, Green Alliance associate and professor in practice at Lancaster University.

In the same week parliament has announced a national Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, we are analysing the findings of our pilot deliberative democracy project, which brought citizens together with MPs to discuss, debate and deliberate ways for the UK to cut carbon across all sectors and get us on the path to net zero. Read more

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