This post is by Tamsin Murray Leach of UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP-UCL).
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what we mean when we talk about innovation, or technology, for that matter. Popular (mis)conceptions interpret it both to mean gadgets and robots, while governments promote ‘innovation’ as an economic panacea, focusing on invention and entrepreneurship. Yet the broader sociopolitical context behind technological change is often overlooked. This is especially true when it comes to the major shifts in lifestyle that have taken place with each technological revolution.
This post was first published by Business Green.
The UK steel industry has suffered from decades of decline, with production dropping by nearly two thirds since 1970; 2015 was a particularly difficult year, and one from which the industry has yet to recover. A glut of steel on the international market – nearly half of it coming from China – sent prices plummeting and resulted in nearly 7,000 job losses to the already beleaguered UK steel industry.
UK recycling has a problem. Over the years, we have become reliant on the Chinese market to take our low quality recycling. But China doesn’t want our waste anymore. In fact, it says it no longer wants any “foreign garbage”, as shipments of low quality material from countries like the UK have “polluted China’s environment seriously.” Read more
As the UK government lobbies to host crucial UN climate talks in 2020, it can rightly claim to have demonstrated leadership on this pressing global issue. We were the first country in the world to set legally binding budgets for carbon. We have shown it’s possible to grow our economy while reducing emissions to meet the first three legally binding carbon budgets. And we are preparing to go further: climate change minister Claire Perry recently indicated that she wants the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which sets the budgets, to investigate a target for net zero emissions by 2050.
This blog was first published by the Environmental Journal.
The UK’s economy grew by 1.7 per cent in 2017, buoyed up by the first synchronised bout of global growth since the financial crisis. Favourable global economic conditions have raised the UK’s economic output, and, although the UK is the slowest growing economy in the G7, relative economic stability has blunted some of the debate over why people feel the economy is no longer working for them. Read more
This article was originally published in Business Green.
If I were the type to shout at my radio, I would have spewed righteous vitriol at the Today programme last Thursday morning. Ahead of the launch of the government’s long awaited 25 Year Plan for the Environment, Environment Secretary Michael Gove was interviewed by Nick Robinson about his ‘big vision’ for dealing with the large environmental challenges that lie ahead. Introducing the segment, Robinson asserted: “The question any politician has to face in this field is this: on the one hand, people say they want less plastic and they cheer on David Attenborough, but do they want to pay 25p more for their cup of coffee?”
New Year articles and blogs often predict what is going to happen in the year ahead. But after the political upsets of the past couple years, it seems more appropriate to pose questions than predict outcomes. So here are some of the important questions that need addressing this year, starting, inevitably, with Brexit.
This post first appeared on BusinessGreen.
The government’s Industrial Strategy consultation closed on Easter Monday. But before we had chance to draw breath, a snap election was called, moving the political agenda on again. Read more
This post is by Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the TUC.
Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the planet. But, for many working people, it can seem a remote issue; one not directly related to their everyday lives. That’s why the TUC is keen to draw the links between tackling climate change and some of the other major themes of our campaign work: rebalancing our economy; investing in the UK’s physical and social infrastructure; and ensuring working people are not asked to pay the price for Brexit.
This post is by Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI.
Technology is changing the world around us at an unprecedented rate. The Internet of Things, the sharing economy, 5G and autonomous vehicles will all change the way we live and work. At the same time, Brexit is going to have a profound impact on our politics and the way the UK works and trades with Europe and the rest of the world.