Category Archives: Low carbon future

Switching to low carbon heating requires urgent action and leadership

This post is by Dr Richard Lowes, from the University of Exeter’s Energy Policy Group.

Even if the UK meets its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and other countries follow similar paths, the risk of pushing the world beyond 1.5°C of warming is still significant.

The difference between 1.5°C and 2°C is genuinely upsetting (including, but not limited to, expected irreversible damage to key ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves, and unmanageable coastal zone damage). I won’t comment on what going beyond 2°C looks like.

Read more

UK energy policy is still weighed down by the nuclear dream

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

In March 2012, four former directors of Friends of the Earth (myself, Tom Burke, Charles Secrett and Tony Juniper) wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron to warn him that the pro-nuclear bias of his advisers across government posed a significant risk to the government’s ability to fashion a coherent energy policy.

Read more

Including flights abroad in the UK’s climate target is a huge step forward

This post is by Greg Archer and Matt Finch of Transport & Environment.

If holiday makers ignore the cost of flights they quickly max-out their credit cards and create a cash crisis. If countries omit their international aviation (and shipping) emissions from their national carbon budgets they run the risk of overshooting their climate targets and contribute to frying the planet. So the UK’s decision to include our international flights and shipping emissions in its sixth carbon budget is not just good accountancy, it is a huge step forward towards limiting these pernicious, invisible and, to date, largely unmanaged emissions.

Read more

How to get from a cottage industry to a million heat pumps a year

This post is by Jan Rosenow, director of European programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project, Pedro Guertler, programme leader at E3G, and Richard Lowes, research fellow at Exeter University.

The UK has made incredible strides in decarbonising its power system beyond what many thought was possible. Carbon emissions were at a record low over the recent Easter weekend. While heat pumps have been seen as a strategically important sustainable heat technology for years, the rapid progress in the power sector offers an urgent opportunity to decarbonise heating whilst supporting the integration of renewables.

Read more

Is the promise of waste based aviation fuel sending us down a blind alley?

This post is by Cait Hewitt, deputy director of the Aviation Environment Federation.

Scientists in America have found a way to massively reduce emissions from flying by using a new fuel made from waste, a BBC news headlines announced on 15 March. It sounded like the kind of scientific breakthrough that almost everyone would want to see: tackling waste and reducing emissions while allowing people to carry on flying. In fact, the story went on to report, the new fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 165 per cent suggesting that one way to lower emissions would be to fly more.

Read more

A tale of two developments: why new planning reforms threaten to entrench unsustainable lifestyles

This post is by Steve Chambers, sustainable transport campaigner at Transport for New Homes.

In 2018, Transport for New Homes produced an initial report that revealed the deep flaws in the planning system which leave new housing developments with inadequate walking, cycling and public transport connections to surrounding areas. With limited facilities locally, residents are, for the most part, forced into car dependency.

Read more

We need a UK law to stop companies profiting from destruction and abuse

This post is by Tom Wills, project manager – corporate accountability and trade at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

Last month, the European Union took a major step towards passing a new law to stop businesses from abusing human rights and destroying the environment around the world. The EU’s proposed ‘corporate due diligence’ law would help to tackle the widespread abuse of workers and the environment in the supply chains of European companies. This progress in Europe accentuates the failure of the UK government to take similar action.

Read more

Changing the way we do deliveries will be good for cities, businesses and people

This post is by Angela Hultberg, head of sustainable mobility at IKEA Retail (Ingka Group)

E-commerce is soaring. It already was pre-pandemic, and during 2020 it has risen to entirely new levels. Online shopping has the potential to be the more sustainable choice, avoiding emissions from going to the store, or even several stores. But is that potential realised today?

Read more

Our lungs need clean air zones

This post is by Zak Bond, policy and public affairs officer at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation

Last year for the first time in the world, a coroner listed air pollution as a cause of death on a death certificate. Nine year old Ella Kissi-Debrah had asthma and lived by London’s traffic filled south circular road, and this was a key factor in the coroner’s ruling. Ella’s story has brought into sharp relief the devastating impact air pollution can have on our lives more powerfully than any statistic.

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »