The Covid-19 virus, our personal health and safety and the response by the government and public health authorities are rightly occupying much of our work and home life at present. A rapid metamorphosis in how parliament operates is underway to deal with the threat. This could lead to both opportunities and challenges for how we engage with parliamentarians, how laws will be scrutinised and how the government will be held to account. Read more
Category Archives: Political leadership
This is not the blog I expected to write to launch my book. As I sit at my desk, on a Monday morning, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting home. My kids are adjusting to a much smaller world, without school or friends. My older teen is giving my younger teen a maths lesson, while I agonise about whether it’s safe to let them go to the park. In the space of a few weeks, everything has changed. Read more
“We are living in an unusual time, a time of real social history – history that you will be able to tell your children about…. The History department would like you to keep a diary of your experiences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” 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
This post is by Georgina Collins of Hope for the Future
The significance of the UN conference COP26 cannot be underestimated; this is the deadline for countries to update their climate plans and set out their Nationally Determined Contributions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement (where 195 countries agreed to limit global warming to 2°C, and a greater ambition to pursue limiting warming to 1.5°C. Read more
Well, not quite. But perhaps given Coronavirus, it could be considered a welcome start to the ‘year of climate action’. What did we get? Read more
In a week’s time, the government will unveil its first budget. It will be keen to deliver on the big spending promises pledged in the Conservative manifesto, particularly in the newly won northern constituencies. The manifesto also promised to prioritise the environment. Read more
The Environment Bill passed an important parliamentary milestone on Wednesday with its second reading. This is a clear sign that there is strong cross-party support for the bill in principle. But, as many MPs said during the debate, the bill is not yet good enough, either to address the environmental crisis or to meet the government’s aspiration to set out the most ambitious environmental programme on earth. Read more
This post is by Shaun Spiers, executive director at Green Alliance and Thomas Hale, associate professor in global public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.
With just over eight months to go, we now have a new COP26 president in place and preparations for the biggest international summit the UK has ever hosted are in full swing. Alok Sharma has no easy task. The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow this November for the UN climate change conference. Read more
This post was first published in Business Green
The Environment Bill makes a welcome return to Parliament next week in a prime slot after Prime Minister’s questions. It is wide-ranging and includes important measures on four critical foundations of our natural environment: nature, air, water and resources and waste. But its lasting legacy will be a new environmental governance system for England and Northern Ireland. Read more