UK energy policy took two big steps forward today, after months of self-inflicted damage by a government unclear about what it wanted to achieve.
There remain some big gaps, most notably on energy efficiency, onshore wind and solar, but we now know a lot more: the government is serious about coal phase out and it will give offshore wind a fair crack at the whip. The first two building blocks of its energy policy have been put in place. Read more
The moral and practical dilemmas around internships are one of the hardest issues to manage if you run a charity. It has required soul searching, time and planning for Green Alliance to resolve them and through the process we’ve learnt a few things.
The moral case against unpaid internships is laid out very well by the campaigning organisation intern aware. There are two principle arguments: first, that unpaid internships exploit young people desperate for work experience; and, second, that they lock-in privilege by excluding those who can’t afford to work unpaid. Read more
Sometimes it takes an outsider to reveal an uncomfortable truth. In his speech this week to Green Alliance’s Beyond Paris event, held in association with the CBI, Al Gore held up a mirror to the UK and it wasn’t pretty.
He described a UK out of step with the new found ambition of China and the US on green growth, a welter of low carbon energy policies being cancelled and a prime minster who is not providing public leadership on climate action. An audience of over 400 studiously phlegmatic business and NGO leaders got to their feet and gave him a standing ovation. It must have been a first for a buttoned up London policy audience. Read more
My biggest fear for the environment in this coming election is not that it won’t feature as a major issue. That may be a blessing given the quality of the debate so far. It’s that our next government won’t have a plan for what it wants to do. So my big question to the parties is ‘What’s your green programme for the first year of government?’ Read more
Amidst the macho gun-slinging of the election campaign we’ve just seen something remarkable and unexpected: an outbreak of wisdom and humility. The party leaders have put down their pistols and agreed to work together on climate change at home and abroad. Read more
This post appeared first on BusinessGreen.
Heathrow was the elephant in the room at Tuesday’s Infrastructure Commission launch by Labour in Westminster. Most people there heard the shadow chancellor’s commitment to take early decisions on infrastructure as an indication that he’d approve a third runway if Labour gets back into power. Read more
This post first appeared on the CBI’s The Great Business Debate.
The environment has been the bank that keeps on giving for business: it is the source of materials, and the sink for waste products. The sheer size of our oceans and continents and the absorption capacity of the atmosphere has meant that this free business support service has been central to many companies’ success. Read more
It generally pays to remain sanguine in the face of the ups and downs of the public policy debate, because it’s usually driven by short term concerns that don’t have a lasting effect in the real world.
Last week, however, I found myself looking at data from one of the dustiest corners of Whitehall and feeling shocked that the reverse had happened: a series of short term decisions is unpicking long term plans to modernise our economy. Read more
A lot has changed since Green Alliance was founded 35 years ago. Most of the people who partied with us at our celebration last night were still at school, and some hadn’t been born. So let’s just remind ourselves: in 1979 we had one lumbering energy giant – the Central Electricity Generating Board– providing electricity to all of our homes and offices, the majority of which was generated by coal. Read more
This post was first published on BusinessGreen.
A week may be a long time in politics, but a decade is short in the world of infrastructure. The 180 months remaining between now and 2030 only get us to the early years of operation for the biggest rail or energy generation projects currently on the cards. Read more