Category Archives: Political leadership

Why the government must hold the line on chemicals safety

This post is by Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary affairs associate, Greener UK Unit and Libby Peake, head of resource policy at Green Alliance

It didn’t take long for the first major test of the government’s Brexit promise to maintain high environmental standards to arrive. The chemicals industry is lobbying the government to relax the rules on how important information on the safety of chemicals is managed, citing the extra costs it has to bear as a result of Brexit.

Read more

Where failure is not an option: four tests for the Glasgow climate summit

This is an important year for the climate, culminating in the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. The task for this conference is to close the emissions gap to arrest global warming; build the world’s resilience, especially as we recover from the Covid pandemic; and agree measures to compensate poorer countries for the damage climate change is already causing. All the evidence shows that time is running out to turn the tide on the climate crisis. So, as the hosts of COP26, as well as the G7, the spotlight is on the UK government to lead international efforts on climate change in 2021. That work began last year, it must now be significantly increased, starting today, in the run up to COP26, and will need to last well beyond the Glasgow summit in November.

Read more

Was 2020 a green ‘super year’ for the UK?

At the start of last year, 2020 was heralded by world leaders, green campaigners and businesses alike as a ‘super year’ for the environment and a ‘make or break year’ for lining up climate and nature action in the new decade. The coronavirus pandemic, of course, has severely disrupted how we hoped the year would pan out, namely in the postponement of the UN biodiversity summit (COP15) and the Glasgow climate summit (COP26). However, despite those COP shaped holes, there has still been movement on climate globally, with Japan, China, the EU and South Korea – covering almost half of global emissions – following the UK’s lead to make mid-century net zero targets, and the US is likely to follow suit once President-elect Joe Biden takes office. 

Read more

Local authorities need much more support to do their bit on climate

There is ongoing concern amongst local leaders and environmental organisations that local authorities are not receiving the support and resources they need to reduce emissions in their areas. Last Wednesday the Climate Change Committee (CCC) published its roadmap to show how government can meet its legally binding sixth carbon budget. Alongside this, a separate report was commissioned which emphasised the need for central government and local authorities to “work seamlessly” together to achieve their shared goal of net-zero emissions.

Read more

The government is backsliding on the Environment Bill before it even becomes law

This post is by Hatti Owens, Client Earth lawyer. It was originally published on Business Green.

After a delay of over six months, the Environment Bill is finally back. Having just completed review by a committee of MPs in Parliament, we expect its enactment during the first part of next year.

But the Bill is soon to be finalised and problems remain that must be urgently addressed.

Read more

Is the government able to achieve its environmental goals?

This post is by Katy Losse, manager of environment studies at the National Audit Office (NAO).

It is now nine years since the government set an ambition to be the first generation to improve the natural environment in England. The NAO’s experience of auditing large scale, longer term or cross government projects and programmes makes us ideally placed to examine how well set up the government is to achieve this particular aim. In our review this year, we concluded that, although its arrangements are developing, there is still a long way to go before the government can be confident that it has the right framework to deliver on its environmental aspirations.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more
« Older Entries