Author Archives: Green Alliance blog

The new England Tree Strategy has to be about more than numbers

This post is by Andrew Allen, lead policy advocate – land use at the Woodland Trust and John Deakin head of trees and woodlands at the National Trust.

The new England Tree Strategy, due later this year, must be more than a plan for planting bark covered carbon absorbing machines. Our trees and woods need a bold vision to expand, connect, restore and protect them so they are also good for nature, climate and people.

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Targets alone aren’t enough to deliver net zero

This post is by Jill Rutter, senior fellow at the Institute for Government.

Much of the political debate around climate change has focused on the ambition of the target.  Last year Theresa May upped the target laid down in the Climate Change Act, accepting the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC’s) assessment that the UK could reach net zero in 2050.  In the election there was a competition over dates: Lib Dems offered 2045; Labour hinted at 2030. Extinction Rebellion want to eliminate all emissions by 2025.

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Without major public policy change, promises of a green recovery won’t lead us to a better world

This post is by Jonny Hughes, WCMC chief executive officer, UNEP-WCMC. A longer version was first published by UNEP-WCMC.

The idea of the green economy is no longer the preserve of radicals and marginal groups. Governments are now seriously waking up to the promise of what a new type of inclusive and sustainable economics could bring. It comes with the prospect of a new wave of ‘green-collar’ jobs providing millions with secure and fulfilling employment. A recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report on the Future of Nature and Business estimates that a transition to a green economy could create 395 million jobs globally and $10.1 trillion in annual business value by 2030. 

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What to expect on trade when parliament returns

This post is by Agathe de Canson, policy assistant at Green Alliance, working in the Greener UK unit.

It has been a trade-heavy summer, with the government busy negotiating trade deals, the Department for International Trade reviewing the way it engages with stakeholders and rumours that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott could get a top UK trade role.

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Restoring unique Falkland Island peatlands could mean the islands store more carbon than they produce

This post is by Jonathan Ritson of the University of Manchester and Chris Evans of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Reaching net zero by 2050 will require a massive effort across all sectors; from decarbonising energy to changing modes of transport and the way we handle waste. With the scale of change required it is no wonder that there is also a focus on options for greenhouse gas removal in case the rate of decarbonisation is not fast enough. While greenhouse gas removal technologies have their own problems, like mitigation deterrence, discussed previously on this blog, some nature-based schemes also have a wealth of co-benefits which mean we really should be pursuing them anyway.

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We need to reset the role of ELMS

intext=-farmingThis post is by Guy Thompson, Group Director of Environmental Futures at Wessex Water, Managing Director of EnTrade, an online marketplace in accredited environmental services and a founding Director of Natural England.

The government’s commitment to restore the environment within a generation will depend on transformative change in land management. Over the last six months, the government has been consulting on the design of the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, the principal lever by which it will deliver this transformation. Read more

Racing to the top: the green agenda in the Lib Dem leadership election

intext-lib-dem-blogThis post is by Joe Dodd, vice chair of the Green Liberal Democrats.

After an initial decision to delay the Liberal Democrat leadership election for a year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the party decided to go ahead with the contest under lockdown conditions. Since the party’s spokesperson for the climate emergency, Wera Hobhouse, MP pulled out, it has been a two horse race between the education spokesperson Layla Moran MP and the acting co-leader Sir Ed Davey MP. Read more

Why we must keep the highest standard of water quality in the UK, even if it’s hard to do

in-RIVERThis post is by Dr Stewart Clarke, The National Trust’s national specialist on freshwater, catchments and estuary management.

There has been a sense of unease amongst those of us working for better rivers, lakes and estuaries this week. Sir James Bevan’s (Environment Agency CEO) speech at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry questioned the implementation, if not the ambition, of the EU Water Framework Directive which has provided a governance framework for managing and protecting our water bodies since 2000. Read more

Could the new planning proposals be an accidental recipe for accelerating nature’s decline?

intext-crest-blogThis post is by Kate Jennings, head of site conservation policy at RSPB

When it comes to how we protect nature one thing is absolutely clear: we need to do more. As the State of nature report says, the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries on earth, and the steps taken to protect the best and to restore the rest have simply failed to address the problem at anything like the scale needed. Read more

Getting people back onto public transport is key to getting the country moving again

intext-trainThis post is by Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport

Covid-19 changed transport overnight. As travel during lockdown was reduced to essential journeys only, cars and public transport were ditched in favour of walking and cycling, and the reduction in road traffic led to immediate air quality improvements.  Read more

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