The prime minister has announced an ‘infrastructure revolution’, as he promises to put jobs and infrastructure at the heart of the government’s economic growth strategy. Drawing comparisons with Roosevelt’s New Deal, the government promises to ‘unite and level up’ the country. Infrastructure projects are to be accelerated, with a National Infrastructure Strategy and wider reforms promised later this year. Read more
Category Archives: Political leadership
In his memoirs, Tony Blair is scathing about environmental NGOs: “Because their entire raison d’etre is to get policy changed, they can hardly say yes, we’ve done it, putting themselves out of business…. Balance is not in their vocabulary. It’s all ‘outrage’, ‘betrayal’, ‘crisis’.” Ed Balls expressed similar concerns to the Institute for Government in 2016. Green NGOs, he said, “were very sceptical about government. They found it very hard to support and push.” Rather than opening up space for the government to move into, they killed off good plans because they were not perfect. Read more
If the reports in the Sunday papers this weekend were true, then tomorrow the prime minister will set out his vision for how the UK government plans to respond to the serious and grave threats facing the economy as the global pandemic continues.
It will also be the first time since the lockdown in March that the government has had the chance to put climate and nature back on top of its agenda. The need to do so could not be more urgent. Read more
This is a joint piece by Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency and Sir William Worsley, chair of the Forestry Commission.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our society and economy have been profound and will leave a lasting legacy. While the outbreak of the virus was a great shock to our system, the legacy it leaves is much more within our control. Read more
This post is by Nigel Haigh, former director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and chair of Green Alliance from 1989 to 1998.
Five years ago Pope Francis published his encyclical about our environmental predicament, called Laudato Si’ – on care for our common home. My reaction at the time was delight that he had done so, but I failed to read it, probably like many readers of this blog. It is over 100 pages long after all. Read more
Parliament is back in business after the initial lockdown forced it to close. MPs are expected to be physically present in the House of Commons, except for those who are at high risk of coronavirus or have caring or parental responsibilities. Those MPs will be able to take part in some proceedings remotely and exercise their vote through a proxy system. Read more
This post is by Emma Rose, director of Unchecked UK.
Over the past eight weeks we have learnt a lot about what British people think is important. We have learnt that the public see compassion as a desirable response in a crisis. We have seen how much people care about the wellbeing of others in their communities. And we have learnt that citizens can – and do – change their behaviour when they understand the reasons for doing so, when these reasons chime with their own interests, and when rules are seen to fairly apply to all. Read more
This post is by Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, chair of Green Alliance and member of the advisory panel of the Dasgupta Review.
I’ve served on so many official reviews over the last twelve months that my head should be spinning. I’ve loved them all, but the current one – the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity – may prove the most challenging and exciting yet. Read more
This post is by Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust. A longer version was published by the Daily Telegraph.
Right now, the nation’s attention is rightly focused on dealing with the immediate and profound impact of Covid-19 on health, social fabric and livelihoods. But governments around the world are beginning to turn their thoughts to recovery. Read more
I’ve spent much of my professional life working in environmental and social justice coalitions, bringing organisations together to achieve a common goal. Working in tandem with like minded partners and allies is a highly effective way to achieve public policy change. While such collaborations often bring challenges, maintaining effective coalitions in the midst of a global pandemic has been especially demanding. Read more