Category Archives: Green economy

Without the right building blocks in place, ‘net zero’ will just be an aspiration

To most people ‘infrastructure’ is an abstract word. Something engineers and policy wonks worry about, which has little to do with their everyday lives. And yet, from the buildings we live and work in, how we move around, the way we get our energy and water, to the systems that give us access to food and other goods, infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and our society. It governs all of our choices, including how green we can be.

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Three tests the government’s green recovery plans should be measured against

This post is by Belinda Gordon, strategy director and Roz Bulleid, interim deputy policy director at Green Alliance

While the risk of a second coronavirus wave was always there, the rapidity with which we’ve been driven back into lockdown has taken the country by surprise. We now feel a long way off ‘recovering’ from the pandemic, both in health and economic terms. While the chance of a vaccine in the next few months looks promising, there is broad agreement that it won’t be the silver bullet that allows life to ‘go back to normal’ anytime soon. So, the reality is that we need to learn to live with the virus, at least in the short term. This includes working out how we continue to make progress to address the other, longer term crisis we face: that of climate change and the destruction of nature.

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The ABC of town centre revival

This post is by Dr Nicholas Falk, director of the URBED Trust.

The coronavirus pandemic justifies radical changes in how the UK deals with failing town centres. Pollution from the revival of car use and home deliveries after the lockdown is making public health worse, and many towns are going in the wrong direction, as more local jobs are lost. Yet, by restoring town centres, the UK could create many more homes and improve wellbeing, while reducing carbon emissions without eating up green fields. Early results scould be secured if the government combined the aims of its White Paper on Planning for the future with incentivising local initiatives through a simple ABC: Ambition Brokerage and Connectivity.

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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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Let’s stop tinkering with tax and make it a force for environmental and social good

intext-tax-blogThis post was first published on Business Green.

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” So observed Benjamin Franklin in 1789 (and possibly a great many others before him) and it is still accepted as one of life’s unalterable facts. But, while the grim reaper comes for all of us at some point, the situation when it comes to taxes is not so inevitable as the aphorism implies. Read more

The least we should expect of business is to call out the failure of the system

This post is byJonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future.

For the past 25 years of my life, I’ve been an uncompromising advocate of the benefits of NGOs working with business rather than working against business, in order to accelerate the transition to a genuinely sustainable economy. I still am, but not in the same way, and absolutely not on the same terms. Read more

Government must legislate now to tackle the hidden footprint of supply chains

Composite image of packed courier on production lineThis post is by Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary affairs associate at Greener UK, and Caterina Brandmayr, senior policy analyst at Green Alliance.

Over the past few months, we have become acutely aware of just how important supply chains are to our lives, as businesses across the UK are working in extremely demanding circumstances to maintain important supplies of food, water and medical equipment. Read more

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