Author Archives: Paul McNamee

A green Brexit?

5469476825_0d0df886db_bThe fact that the summer of 2017 is turning out to be one of the hottest on record was not apparent in WWF’s Living Planet Centre today as Michael Gove set out his first public speech on the environment since becoming secretary of state. As one of the most energy efficient buildings in Europe, heat pumps are engaged to transport cooler air from underground whilst window features reflect sunlight in summer to prevent excess heat. A perfect atmosphere for delivering a much anticipated speech.

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Will the Withdrawal Bill work for the environment?

Early morning London:  Houses of Parliament, Westminster BridgeThough the triggering of Article 50 occurred just over 100 days ago, it has felt like the Great Repeal Bill has been coming for a lot longer. And this is the first big change we will have to make: the Great Repeal Bill is no more. As it passes through parliament it will now be known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. A title not quite as eye-catching but a lot more practical, and possibly an early indication of the government’s new approach. Read more

What are the manifestos promising on the environment?

14749841802_5d8c28456f_kNext Tuesday for the first time in this election campaign, the public will get the chance to put questions directly to the major parties on their ambitions and aims for the environment in the next parliament at the Greener UK Hustings.

The debate will include issues like air quality and pollution, nature protection, international leadership, farming and fisheries, climate change and, perhaps most pertinently, what the UK’s exit from the EU will mean for all of the above. Read more

100 days of May: how have green issues fared with the new PM ?

30307280212_3e859da54f_z2016 has proven to be one of the most politically tumultuous years in recent memory, with a history-making referendum, a change of government, leadership elections in several of the opposition parties and Ed Balls dazzling the nation on live Saturday night TV. As such, last Friday should have been Theresa May’s 40th day as prime minster but, thanks to the unexpected termination of the Conservative leadership contest in July, saw her celebrate her 100th day in office. Read more

Conference diary: a bird’s eye view from Birmingham

birminghamI used to work for a conservation charity famous for protecting birds and once, on a call, a woman used the phrase “let’s kill two birds with one stone, here”. I barely noticed what she’d said (it was water off a duck’s back to me) but the caller got so embarrassed that she garbled an apology and then hung up, mid-call. Phrases, and their use, can be quite important to some people, which was a running theme at the Conservative party conference this week. Read more

Conference diary: plenty of talk of power but where was energy?

Liverpool.jpgTravelling back to London on an overcast Wednesday afternoon (in the booked seat of a train company that shall remain nameless), the air conditioning broke and a small but steady stream of water leaked from the ceiling into my lap. The same thing happened to other people up and down the length of the carriage: dripping on scalps, trickling down backs and, in one unfortunate case, pouring straight onto a hapless worker’s laptop. The incident led to much British tutting and rolling of eyes. Complaints to the guard were followed by conversations with neighbours, the sharing of napkins and even a few jokes. This annoying shared experience led to a sense of unity amongst my previously silent fellow travellers.

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