The 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
Parliament is back in business after the initial lockdown forced it to close. MPs are expected to be physically present in the House of Commons, except for those who are at high risk of coronavirus or have caring or parental responsibilities. Those MPs will be able to take part in some proceedings remotely and exercise their vote through a proxy system. Read more
Earlier 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
I’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
Everything 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
The 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
The 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
This 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
The Brexit process has had a major impact on the way government is organised, and it has transformed one department, Defra. While much of this change has been beneficial, the pace of it has brought a number of challenges which should be addressed. Read more
Last week the government published the latest statistics on wild bird populations in the UK, which show that the UK is in trouble. The statistics may have slipped under the radar for many given the election’s dominance of the news cycle, but they are a must read for anyone who cares about our natural world. Read more