Category Archives: Political leadership

Covid-19 and the parliamentary process: initial observations


intext-blog-ruth-wesminster-emptyThe 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

What is the relationship between state and citizen in a time of crisis?

intext-blog-becky-willisThis 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

What the Heathrow ruling means for future government decisions with a climate impact

This post is by Katie de Kauwe, lawyer at Friends of the Earth.

intext-heathrowThe 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

People should talk to their MPs about the importance of COP26

intext-blog-mpsThis 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

MPs of all parties want a groundbreaking Environment Bill, but will it deliver?

intext-butterfly-blogThe 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

What the world needs now is…a net zero club

blue_marbleThis 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

Return of the Environment Bill

intext-blog-House_of_Commons_Chamber_1This 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

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