Category Archives: Political leadership

Conservation isn’t yet at the heart of Conservatism in this ‘New Deal’

small owlThe 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

The shovels are ready but are we digging ourselves deeper into trouble?

boris in hard hatIn 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

Boris is right that speed matters, but it’s a green recovery that we need fast

Man installing solar panelsIf 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

Now is the time to really put the ‘green’ into the green recovery

small-green-spaceThis 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

As the Pope says, concern for the natural world is no longer optional

pope 2This 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

Younger leave voters from left and right want strong environmental protections

cambridge-city-architecture-1503400878nuXThis 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

The Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity is an exciting source of hope

Emerald damselfyThis 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

We must grow back greener after lockdown

Woodberry Wetland in LondonThis 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

Green groups working together is as important as ever through this crisis

Shallow depth of field image (selective focus) with the Zoom vidI’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

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