Category Archives: Political leadership

A question of standards

parliament-intextGreener UK rates the latest Brexit withdrawal deal as a high risk to the environment. Theresa May’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement guaranteed that environmental standards would not fall below their current level (“non-regression”). That guarantee has gone from the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson. Aspirations to uphold “common high standards” are relegated to the non-binding Political Declaration and it is made clear that they must be compatible with the UK’s desire to develop an independent trade policy.

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Is Twitter indicating a change in MPs’ views on climate change?

intext-twitter-blogThis post is by Rhian Ebrey. It is based on her research as a masters student at the University of Leeds.

I think that, writing this following the biggest global climate strike ever, it’s safe to say I’m not alone in feeling a growing dread with each successive IPCC report predicting the urgency of the global climate crisis. And yet, this urgency does not appear to be shared by everyone. I feel helpless and frustrated as world leaders appear hesitant to commit to the necessary changes needed to save our future and the planet. But the growing awareness of shared alarm and frustration, embodied through Greta Thunberg’s refreshingly direct speech at the UN’s COP24 climate conference last year, has sparked a social revolution, with prominent grassroots movements, including Extinction Rebellion and the Youth Strikes, growing around the world.

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The environmental sector won’t win unless there is a clear win for everyone

melissablog-intextIn 1996, the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice hosted forty people of colour and European American representatives in Jemez, New Mexico as part of the ‘Working group meeting on globalization and trade’. The aim was to find commonalities between the forty participants, representing different cultural and political backgrounds, and organisations. By the end of the meeting, six Jemez Principles for democratic organising were adopted. All six principles are worth reading, but for the purpose of this post, I will particularly focus on the fourth: work together in solidarity and mutuality. It reads: Read more

It’s time for government to set a new environmental baseline

BigBen-blogimageThis blog was first posted on Business Green.

The government’s environment legislative programme is in disarray. Earlier this month, bills that were halfway through their passage, including on agriculture, fisheries and trade, were lost as parliament was prorogued. The Environment Bill meanwhile is yet to appear in full. Read more

Is the government going from green to grey?

no deal smallA month into the new government and the prospects for the environment look increasingly grim.

It is not just that a no deal Brexit now seems probable, though that is bad enough. Crashing out of the EU carries great dangers for air pollution and loss of countryside as lorries queue around our major ports. Its impact on farming could be devastating. Read more

Conversations at citizens’ juries are constructive, sensible and often brilliant

citizens jury featuredThis post is by Lucy Bush, research director at BritainThinks

Deliberative research has been part of policy-making in the UK since the ’90s when BritainThinks’ founding partners, Deborah Mattinson and Viki Cooke ran the first-ever UK Citizens’ Jury. This jury, commissioned in 1994 by IPPR, explored the citizens’ take on health rationing. We’ve been using deliberative methodologies at BritainThinks since we were set up over nine years ago, helping government, businesses and not-for-profits put the citizen centre-stage to revitalise the public debate and bring fresh perspectives to complex policy challenges. Read more

Renegotiating the Brexit deal as if there were an environmental crisis

thermometer-4294021_1920This is an Inside Track long read.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he plans to renegotiate the Brexit deal. He has described the current deal as “dead”, for reasons I won’t go into. But there are other reasons why the deal and, in particular, the political declaration, which sketches an outline of the future EU-UK relationship, could stand some re-examination. Read more

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