Category Archives: Political leadership

Despite new government powers to recover the oceans, still nothing is guaranteed

This post is by Helen McLachlan, WWF-UK’s fisheries programme manager and chair of Greener UK’s work on fisheries.

As the Fisheries Act receives Royal Assent, it is important to reflect where we have got to, four years after the Brexit referendum. From the outset of the legislative process, Greener UK urged the UK and devolved governments to take this once in a generation opportunity to establish the UK as world leaders in sustainable fisheries management.

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Will the PM’s plan put the environment at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery?

After weeks of uncertainty about when and whether the ten point plan would be launched, it’s finally out. This is a really significant step, as it makes clear that the government sees the need to tackle climate change and boost low carbon industries as central to supporting economic recovery and creating jobs across the country. And it reflects the strong public support that exists to prioritise action on climate and nature in the UK’s response to the pandemic.

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Why care should be at the heart of climate policy

This post is by Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the climate emergency, business & energy and transport

I recently visited Dose of Nature, a charity in Kew established to promote the mental and physical health benefits of engaging with the natural world. Through educative activities and hands on experience, the charity’s work feeds into popular narratives of natural settings as places of refuge and comfort in times of psychological distress that can inspire wonder, serenity and peace.

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Environment Bill must not undermine environmental accountability

It is good news that the Environment Bill will resume its parliamentary journey on 3 November after a delay of more than six months. The not-so-good news is that the government has proposed some amendments to the Bill (for example, see NC24 on page 50) which would weaken the already precarious independence of the new green watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

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What will the Brexit endgame mean for the environment?

The pandemic seems to have warped our sense of time. It was early spring and now, suddenly, it’s autumn. But Brexit has provided a strange bit of consistency throughout the period. After a month’s pause, the EU and UK have continued to negotiate their future relationship which is hardly surprising given the looming deadline. While the UK government could have requested an extension, it chose not to do so and the transition period will end on 31 December.

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The mystery of the vanished Environment Bill

Today marks 200 days since the Environment Bill was last seen in parliament.

The passage of the bill was paused on Thursday 19 March due to the coronavirus outbreak. Of course, this was absolutely the right decision as the government focused its energies on dealing with the pandemic. But, as parliamentary business resumed in early summer we expected to see the bill, which ministers have described as a ‘flagship’, return quickly. Its continued absence is, therefore, a mystery and casts a lengthening shadow of doubt on the government’s environmental credentials.

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