Category Archives: Natural environment

Why George Monbiot is both right and wrong about ‘cold and alienating’ language

peat bog smallThis post also appears on the National Trust’s blog.

George Monbiot today wrote an excellent twitter thread criticising the ‘cold and alienating’ language we routinely use when talking about ‘the environment’. He specifically calls out a term we have been using at Green Alliance for several years: ‘Natural Infrastructure Schemes’. Monbiot argues that phrases like ‘our shared home’, ‘climate chaos’ and ‘wildlife’ should replace ‘the environment’, ‘climate change’ and ‘biodiversity’. Read more

How carbon cutting could be a viable new income source for farmers and land managers

peat smallAs we hit the hottest winter temperatures ever in the UK, it‘s clear that the imperative to tackle climate change is becoming ever more urgent. We need to look at every aspect of how our economy is run to find new ways to cut carbon and attention is now turning to the role that land use and farming can play. Read more

Valuing public service workers is at the heart of environmental stewardship

natural england smallThis post is by Andrew Pakes, research director at Prospect.

Prospect’s new report on Natural England, supported by some welcome media attention last week, has really touched a nerve about the state of England’s conservation body. Despite rhetoric from government about its 25 year environment plan, it is clear that nature conservation and environmental stewardship is creaking at the seams.

The conversation that is too often missing in this debate is one of resources. If politics is about choices, then public investment is the demonstration of intent. Read more

Space tech and AI could be game changers for the environment

satellite smallThis post is by Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford and a trustee of Green Alliance.

A new generation of tiny satellites are flying overhead in lower earth orbit taking high resolution images of every point on planet earth every single day. These constellations, the largest of which currently consists of over 150 CubeSats (at 10cm x 10cm x 30cm in size), allows us to see planetary-scale change on a daily basis. Read more

Natural England’s role will be essential post-Brexit

jurassic coast_chris parker via flickrThis post is by Andrew Sells, the outgoing chair of Natural England.

Natural England is an organisation that some thought – at various stages – was as endangered as some of the species we strive to protect. But as it prepares for life after the UK’s departure from the European Union, it has never been more important.

With my time at the helm now drawing to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on five years as chair of Natural England and the future for conservation. Read more

The 25 year environment plan now needs money and law to back it up

flock smallThis post is by Matt Williams, public policy officer at the National Trust. A version of this piece will be posted on the Wildlife and Countryside Link blog.

As New Year’s resolutions go, the promises of the 25 year environment plan for England, launched on this day last year, were ambitious. One year on, how successful has the government been in sticking to its resolution to, for the first time, hand on the environment in a better state than it inherited it? Read more

It’s time to include land use in climate policy

land use smallThis post is by Sir Graham Wynne, Green Alliance trustee and chief executive of the RSPB from 1998 to 2010. 

As Professor Jim Skea said at a recent Green Alliance event, it is no longer a choice between doing big things or little things to address climate change, we have to do everything. The IPCC says we have twelve years to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees and every sector has to play a full part. Read more

The pivotal year ahead for UK water management

water squareMost of us probably only think about our water company when we pay the bill, when there’s a hosepipe ban or when we see news stories about how much water bosses are getting paid. Labour’s proposal to renationalise the water industry highlights some of these popular concerns. With all this noise it is easy to forget that the water industry is a hugely significant player in environmental protection. Whatever the future ownership of the water industry looks like, we urgently need to improve the state of our waterways, increasing resilience and restoring nature. Read more

Chris Packham: don’t just moan, stand and be counted

chris packhamThis week, we interviewed the naturalist, nature photographer and author, Chris Packham, about his Walk for Wildlife which will take place in London on Saturday 22 September.

Q. The Walk for Wildlife is a great initiative but why are you doing it now? Why this moment?

I, and many others, have reached a critical point of frustration. We know from the State of Nature report that many habitats and species are in decline. I’m armed with an enormous repository of statistics which I felt I had normalised, and they were just going up. Every time a new survey is done the figures get worse. I sensed that it wasn’t just me feeling this way. There is a general groundswell of people thinking “we have to do something now”. Read more

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