Category Archives: Policy

Is business deregulation putting environmental safeguards at risk?

big ben and tree

This post is by Donal McCarthy, an economist at the RSPB with a special interest in regulatory reform and its implications for the environment. He recently co-authored a report assessing the performance of voluntary (ie self-regulatory or co-regulatory) alternatives to regulation in delivering on public policy objectives.

Over recent years, political concerns about the costs of regulation to business have risen in prominence, with accusations that rules, such as those protecting rare species and habitats, are placing ridiculous costs on business and the wider economy.

Read more

Why we have to put ‘beauty’ back into policy

derwentwaterThis post is by Green Alliance’s chair, Dame Fiona Reynolds. It is a version of a piece which first appeared in the The Guardian.

Beauty. It’s a word we all use to describe our delight in the world around us: a landscape we love; a butterfly’s wings translucent in the sunshine; or a wondrous piece of architecture. We all love beauty; we only have to watch the numbers glued to BBC’s Countryfile, and the way we head for the beach and the countryside as soon as the sun shines, to see that it’s something which meets a real human need.
Read more

Five things you should know about industrial strategy

crossrail tunnel_Flickr No.10_cropIndustrial strategy is back.  It featured in Theresa May’s Birmingham leadership speech as one of the economic reforms necessary “to get the whole economy firing”.  As prime minister, May has followed through by elevating the former Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ competitiveness remit ‘to develop a long term industrial strategy’ to the title of the new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Read more

What a certain old lady can teach us about energy policy

387px-there-was-an-old-lady-who-swallowed-a-fly-miss-kaulback-38317Do you remember the old lady who swallowed a fly? Her chosen remedy – to swallow a spider in hope of catching the fly – unfortunately made things worse: said spider wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She dealt with this unintended consequence by swallowing a bird, which didn’t help either. Bird led to cat led to dog, goat and then cow (I don’t know how). The sad denouement came when she swallowed a horse, and died. Of course.

The British electricity system is starting to look worryingly like that poor old lady. The government, dissatisfied with what the markets are delivering, is proposing modification after modification, in the hope that one day the ‘neutral’ market will deliver the government’s ever more obvious technology preferences. It looks as if our energy policy designers have forgotten their nursery rhymes.

Read more

Why the IN campaign is bringing out the big (green) guns

which way now? Two little owls on an old farm gateThe Prime Minister’s latest intervention in the EU referendum campaign illustrates how the environment is taking its place in the modern political canon. Speaking from the RSPB’s Rainham Marshes nature reserve, Cameron noted how our EU membership underpins crucial environmental protections, and talked about the importance of nurturing Britain’s countryside and wildlife. At the same time, his speech, if not his words, demonstrated that environmentalists are important too.

Read more

What I want for London: a healthy and sustainable food system

Composition with assorted raw organic vegetables

Last month we launched Greener London with eight other environmental organisations, a set of 20 practical actions for the next mayor that together would make London a greener, fairer and better place to live and work.

While mayoral candidates are outlining their plans for the city, we also asked people from organisations active in the capital to tell us the one thing they’d like to see for a greener London.

Today we hear from Sofia Parente, London Food Link Officer at Sustain.

Read more

What I want for London: road pricing

londontrafficFotaliaFeb08100This week we’ve launched Greener London with eight other environmental organisations, a set of 20 practical actions for the next mayor that together would make London a greener, fairer and better place to live and work. And, at our Greener London hustings on 4 March, Londoners get their chance to quiz mayoral candidates on their plans.

We’ve also asked people from organisations active in the capital to tell us the one thing they’d like to see for a greener London.

Today, it’s the turn of Dr Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign. Read more

What I want for London: put walking first

walking London credit Ric CapuchoYesterday we launched Greener London with eight other environmental organisations, a set of 20 practical actions for the next mayor that together would make London a greener, fairer and better place to live and work. And, at our Greener London hustings on 4 March, Londoners get their chance to quiz mayoral candidates on their plans.

So, in Greener London week, we’ve asked people from organisations active in the capital to tell us the one thing they’d like to see for a greener London.  Today, we hear from Sarah Williams of Living Streets Read more

Dig in, the devolution revolution is down to all of us

Castlefield, Manchester, EnglandThis post is by Steve Connor, founder of Creative Concern, a sustainability communications agency based in Manchester. He is also a trustee of the Community Forests Trust. He writes here in a personal capacity.

 

When he wasn’t being a Dharma Bum with the rest of the Beats, the poet Gary Snyder had a thing or two to say about the state of the environment and our need to tread lightly upon the Earth. Read more

« Older Entries