Many were eagerly awaiting the chancellor’s statement last month to hear how he would tackle the economic crisis whilst also delivering a green recovery. But, despite some welcome measures on energy efficiency, his statement did not have green priorities running through it. Read more
This post is by Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport
Covid-19 changed transport overnight. As travel during lockdown was reduced to essential journeys only, cars and public transport were ditched in favour of walking and cycling, and the reduction in road traffic led to immediate air quality improvements. Read more
When production at Dewar’s Lane Granary in Berwick-upon-Tweed came to an end in 1985, the historic building was left empty and abandoned, and earmarked for demolition. Read more
This post is by Katie de Kauwe, lawyer at Friends of the Earth.
The government’s policy giving the green light to Heathrow expansion and establishing the need for more airport capacity in the south east was ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal on climate grounds last month. This ruling follows years of work by the legal team at Friends of the Earth (myself included), along with our external solicitors at Leigh Day, and barristers (David Wolfe QC at Matrix Chambers, Peter Lockley at 11KBW and Andrew Parkinson at Landmark Chambers). And, of course, the absolutely tireless work, campaigning and commitment from local residents who are the unsung heroes of the piece. Read more
The BBC ran a story this week with the headline ‘The UK can’t go climate neutral before 2050’, citing an important report from the independent research body, the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC). That report details a set of pathways to getting the UK to net zero by 2050 and is careful to highlight that it is not prescriptive. While we cannot expect nuance in a news headline, suggesting that it is impossible to hit net zero carbon before 2050 belies the very nature of innovation. Read more
As the UK heads to the polls once more, there’s something different this time round. In previous elections, climate change barely got any airtime. Now, as poll after poll shows that people want action, politicians are talking about the climate crisis, and offering voters their prescriptions for action. Read more
I have been working in Victoria, London, for the past three years. The buildings, the corner shops and the pubs have roughly stayed the same in this period but I’ve noticed a marked change in something else. Electric vehicles and chargers have started to appear on the streets, pavements and lampposts. Teslas, Leafs and Zoes are now gliding around quietly, with no tailpipe emissions. The direction of travel for Britain’s cars is clear, it is clean and electric. Read more
This post is by Greg Archer, UK director at Transport and Environment
Measures to reduce CO2 emissions from cars have so far failed. Minimal improvements in the efficiency of new cars have merely offset the steady rise in vehicle mileage, causing UK car emissions to effectively flatline over the past 30 years. There are several causes: the failure to invest in alternatives to car use; the falling cost and increased level of car ownership; and the focus of the car industry on maximising profits, selling ever bigger and more powerful cars, whilst limiting the choice and availability of low and zero emissions electric models. There are no silver bullets but there are positive signs that a revolution is underway that will drive a sharp reduction in emissions.
This post is by Greg Archer, UK director at Transport and Environment.
The UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 is a milestone in the battle against climate change and an important signal to other EU members still debating whether to match the goal. However, setting targets is the easy part. The devil will be in the detail about how to meet them. This is particularly the case with transport, where emissions have been virtually unchanged since 1990 and now account for a third of UK total greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
Reinventing Retrofit was published yesterday by Green Alliance, with support from the Zero Energy Buildings Catalyst (ZEBCat) programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
This blog was first posted by Business Green.
In 2017, buildings were responsible for 22 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, compared to just 19 per cent from electricity supply. With declining coal power generation and the rise in electric vehicles, the climate impact of buildings is becoming increasingly important in the effort to cut carbon emissions. The current housing stock represents 80 per cent of the houses that will be standing in 2050 and retrofitting them to be low carbon will be a major challenge for the future. Read more