Author Archives: Ruth Chambers

Conservation isn’t yet at the heart of Conservatism in this ‘New Deal’

small owlThe prime minister has announced an ‘infrastructure revolution’, as he promises to put jobs and infrastructure at the heart of the government’s economic growth strategy. Drawing comparisons with Roosevelt’s New Deal, the government promises to ‘unite and level up’ the country. Infrastructure projects are to be accelerated, with a National Infrastructure Strategy and wider reforms promised later this year. Read more

Why nature should be high on the government’s recovery to do list

intext-urban-greenEarlier this month, three sector leaders talked about their hopes and aspirations for nature’s recovery and how coronavirus has affected them and their constituencies. Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, joined Green Alliance executive director Shaun Spiers for the latest in Green Alliance’s series of online events to discuss the impact of the current health crisis on the environment. Read more

Green groups working together is as important as ever through this crisis

Shallow depth of field image (selective focus) with the Zoom vidI’ve spent much of my professional life working in environmental and social justice coalitions, bringing organisations together to achieve a common goal. Working in tandem with like minded partners and allies is a highly effective way to achieve public policy change. While such collaborations often bring challenges, maintaining effective coalitions in the midst of a global pandemic has been especially demanding. Read more

Vitamin N: the power of nature to help us through difficult times

daisyEverything has changed. Coronavirus has affected our lives in ways that none of us could ever have imagined.

Millions of us are now working remotely until further notice. We are rightly being told to stay home.

This new world of lockdown can make it very difficult to experience nature: it’s either too far away or we may not be able to, or want to, go outside. Read more

Covid-19 and the parliamentary process: initial observations


intext-blog-ruth-wesminster-emptyThe Covid-19 virus, our personal health and safety and the response by the government and public health authorities are rightly occupying much of our work and home life at present. A rapid metamorphosis in how parliament operates is underway to deal with the threat. This could lead to both opportunities and challenges for how we engage with parliamentarians, how laws will be scrutinised and how the government will be held to account. Read more

MPs of all parties want a groundbreaking Environment Bill, but will it deliver?

intext-butterfly-blogThe Environment Bill passed an important parliamentary milestone on Wednesday with its second reading. This is a clear sign that there is strong cross-party support for the bill in principle. But, as many MPs said during the debate, the bill is not yet good enough, either to address the environmental crisis or to meet the government’s aspiration to set out the most ambitious environmental programme on earth. Read more

Return of the Environment Bill

intext-blog-House_of_Commons_Chamber_1This post was first published in Business Green 

The Environment Bill makes a welcome return to Parliament next week in a prime slot after Prime Minister’s questions. It is wide-ranging and includes important measures on four critical foundations of our natural environment: nature, air, water and resources and waste. But its lasting legacy will be a new environmental governance system for England and Northern Ireland. Read more

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