Category Archives: Greening the economy

Why levelling up should mean real economic change

For two years, levelling up has been one of the main slogans of Boris Johnson’s administration, but there’s still no agreement about what it means. Strategic ambiguity can be a political virtue, though given both the government’s serious political challenges and the limited time before the next general election, it’s time to be explicit about what levelling up will actually do.

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The government’s incoherent approach to green skills is holding net zero back

The UK economy needs to go through a sea change to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Carbon intensive industries will have to go green, cutting emissions and restoring nature in line with the government’s environmental targets. Doing it in a fair way means upskilling those workers in high carbon jobs for new, low carbon roles while training the next generation to work in the green economy of the future.

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The budget missed too many opportunities on net zero, now the chancellor has to put it right

After watching the chancellor’s autumn spending review, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the UK public was more concerned by the price of a pint than by the looming threat of climate change. Changes to alcohol duties dominated the tail end of Sunak’s speech in which he mentioned wine twelve times, cider ten, and alcohol nine. The words “net zero”, on the other hand, were only mentioned three times, while he did not utter the phrase “climate change” once – and the only mention of “environment” came in relation to the pub.

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Funding the green transition need not be as hard as the government thinks

This post is by Colin Hines, convenor of the UK Green New Deal Group.

The US and Canada heat dome, Siberian forest fires, devastating floods in Germany and surrounding countries, and the truly grim fact that the Amazon is now a carbon emitter rather than a sink, have resulted in a new sense of urgency from alarmed scientists and political leaders about the need to act urgently on the climate and biodiversity crises.

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Infrastructure should be at the heart of the UK’s climate adaptation strategy

This post is by James Heath, chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission.

I write this from a modern flat in the centre of a big city on the hottest day of the year so far, unable to open my windows because a telecoms operator is digging up my street to lay full fibre broadband cables.

I hesitate to complain about my situation, not least as there will be many millions in far more precarious situations as a result of global warming, and because faster internet connections can reduce more carbon intensive activities like the daily commute.

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Is the government’s response to the Dasgupta Review a watershed moment?

This post is by Paul Morling, principal economist at the RSPB, and James Fotherby of Green Alliance.

It is difficult not to see the government’s response to the Dasgupta Review, published this week, as a significant moment. In accepting two of the most fundamental arguments of the review: that nature is what ultimately sustains our economies and that reversing biodiversity loss is foundational to achieving a nature positive economy, the government has taken the first bold steps towards tackling the nature crisis.  

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Without Treasury backing the UK could fall behind on net zero

This post was originally published by City A.M.

Some truisms are worth repeating: the Treasury is powerful. Unlike its counterparts overseas, the Treasury in Britain is able to set policy for economic development and control government spending. This power, however, is also an impediment on progress. It is one of the slowest Whitehall departments to change its ways and is holding back the government’s green agenda.

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As president of the Glasgow climate summit, the UK can’t shy away from carbon border adjustments

 This post is by Hannah Dillon, head of the Zero Carbon Campaign.

The European Commission’s proposal to implement a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) has come under increasing scrutiny over recent weeks, and this is only set to intensify as an increasing number of global leaders focus in on the need to ‘put a price on carbon’.

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