Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

With bold environmental ideas we can make the most of a hung parliament

Windermere Lake from Orrest Head on the Meadows with CowsThis post is by Richard Benwell, head of government affairs at WWT.

A hung parliament, with a packed legislative agenda, blank slate of policy and limited time on the Brexit countdown clock: these are good conditions for great environmental accomplishments. Without a commanding majority, the government will need to search for areas of political unity to build political capital, like the environment. Read more

Trump’s misguided decision: a view from the US

14608775191_52d8b30138_kFollowing Donald Trump’s announcement to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Green Alliance is publishing a series of blog posts from different voices in response.

This post is by Vrinda Manglik, campaign representative with the Sierra Club’s International Climate and Energy campaign.

Thursday 1 June was a rough day for the US climate movement.

Even though we already knew President Trump would almost certainly withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the Rose Garden speech confirming it still came as a painful blow. How could any political leader recklessly throw away so much? Read more

Metro mayors: a real chance to think global and act local

aerial view of modern and older houses and bungalows with solar panels on the roofThis post is by Polly Billington, director of UK100, a network of UK cities committed to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050.

The results are in and metro mayors across the land are hitting the ground running. From the West of England to the Tees Valley, new leaders have a massive opportunity to reshape their local economies and improve the health and well-being of their residents. The question is – will they seize it?

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The quick fix to the toxic air crisis? Make the polluter pay

11422536206_ccd9ad9e21_kThis post is by Greg Archer, director, clean vehicles at Transport & Environment.

After being forced to announce its controversial plans to tackle air pollution, ministers have been quick to blame the previous government for the mess caused by encouraging diesel car sales. But ministers have repeatedly refused to point the finger, or act against the true culprit, the car industry, that has for years sold cars that pass lab tests but often produce ten times or more pollution on the road. As a result, they have contributed to the toxic air that is killing up to 40,000 people a year in the UK. Read more

Resource efficiency will improve UK competitiveness

Paul Ekins (c) SERI polfreeThis post is by Professor Paul Ekins OBE, director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London.

There are many reasons to increase resource efficiency in an economy like the UK’s. Among them are the need to reduce pressure on natural resources in a world with growing populations and economies; to reduce the vulnerability to imported material’s supply shocks and price volatility; and to avoid the environmental impacts of natural resource extraction, even where they occur outside the UK. Read more

Low carbon development is a chance to rebalance our economy

1507TUCPNowak072This post is by Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the TUC.

Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the planet. But, for many working people, it can seem a remote issue; one not directly related to their everyday lives. That’s why the TUC is keen to draw the links between tackling climate change and some of the other major themes of our campaign work: rebalancing our economy; investing in the UK’s physical and social infrastructure; and ensuring working people are not asked to pay the price for Brexit.

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Industrial strategy and clean growth must go hand-in-hand

Carolyn Fairbairn WEF versionThis post is by Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI.

Technology is changing the world around us at an unprecedented rate. The Internet of Things, the sharing economy, 5G and autonomous vehicles will all change the way we live and work. At the same time, Brexit is going to have a profound impact on our politics and the way the UK works and trades with Europe and the rest of the world.

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We are approaching a critical tipping point for investors

Committee on Climate Change portraits - 24/9/08.This post is by Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng, chair of the Committee on Climate Change’s Adaptation Sub-Committee. It is written in a personal capacity.

We are approaching a climate change tipping point, one that I am eagerly awaiting. With all of the political changes going on in the UK and around the world, I just hope this one doesn’t get delayed. Read more

How to improve the balance between UK nature conservation and food production

Eurasian skylark. Skylark seated in a rape field.This post is by Claire Feniuk, land use policy officer at the RSPB.

If Brexit has taught us anything, it’s that people don’t like compromise, they really much prefer to have their cake and eat it. This week, I was invited to join a panel discussion at a Defra Evidence event hosted by the Royal Society, to give my thoughts on the trade-offs between nature conservation and food production. Read more

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