Category Archives: Uncategorized

What does the budget mean for UK renewables?

Boat in offshore windfarmThe chancellor described his budget as taking bold decisions to “act now so we don’t pay later.” Osborne announced £730 million of funding for “less established” renewables and endorsed storage, demand response and interconnection. Half an hour before the Budget, the prime minister had said the UK would cut power sector emissions by 85 per cent by 2030, which is consistent with the Committee on Climate Change’s fifth carbon budget. Read more

What I want for London: more efficient buildings

London, Canary Wharf (blue hour)This week we published Greener London, with eight other leading environment groups, setting out 20 practical actions for the next mayor of London. Tomorrow, mayoral candidates will be quizzed by Londoners at our Greener London hustings. 

We’ve asked people working at organisations active in the city to tell us the one thing they want for a greener London. Today’s post is by Sarah Williams of the Aldersgate Group. Read more

Four lessons for young women working to save the world

Ecology app icons splash Woman head

This blog is by Alys Penfold, communications assistant at Green Alliance.

When my colleague Amy announced that she had helped to put together an event for women just starting out their careers in the sustainability sector, I was hesitant to apply. Despite fitting the bill as an applicant, I didn’t feel like I qualified, as I had only just started out in the sector and thought I wouldn’t have enough experience or knowledge to participate. By the end of the two days at ‘She is Sustainable’, I had completely changed my mind.

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No more nudges – only an entrepreneurial state can give us a green revolution

Nurturing UK cleantech enterprise-1This post is by Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips professor in the economics of innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex, author of The entrepreneurial state: debunking public vs private sector myths and Green Alliance trustee.

Speaking at the start of the COP21 meeting in Paris, President Obama told delegates:

“We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another; they can work in concert with one another.”

He’s right that a green economy need not come at the expense of growth. Policy makers must also now recognise that we cannot rely on the private sector to bring about the kind of radical reshaping of the economy that is required. As Bill Gates recently acknowledged, only the state can provide the kind of patient finance and direction required to make a decisive shift.

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The intern debate: four lessons from Green Alliance

The moral and practical dilemmas around internships are one of the hardest issues to manage if you run a charity. It has required soul searching, time and planning for Green Alliance to resolve them and through the process we’ve learnt a few things.

The moral case against unpaid internships is laid out very well by the campaigning organisation intern aware. There are two principle arguments: first, that unpaid internships exploit young people desperate for work experience; and, second, that they lock-in privilege by excluding those who can’t afford to work unpaid.   Read more

Why technology needs the friction of politics

google logoA version of this post first appeared on The Guardian’s Political Science blog.

The headquarters of Google in Mountain View, California is a confusing blend of the laid back, hi-tech, over achieving image the company likes to cultivate, mixed with an earnest schoolboy’s slightly clumsy eagerness to gain approval for doing well and doing good. Garish multi-coloured bikes are scattered around the ‘campus’ for staff to move from one building to another; there’s a Holodeck (a dizzyingly immersive experience of Google Earth); and two of the meeting rooms are called Flux and Capacitor. So far, so Google. Read more

Letter from America: the US’s secret green test site

welcome to verrmontAlastair Harper is head of politics at Green Alliance. He’s currently participating in the US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme on climate change. This is his second dispatch reporting on his experiences.

There is no typical America or American, but Vermont makes a particular effort to be untypical. Our tour group’s van driver is a polite, thoughtful man named Reg Godin. He normally waits in the van, but when we visit Montpelier for a meeting in the grand State House, he decides to join us. The place is shut down except for a few offices, but Reg shakes hands with the security guard, then ushers us through to the State’s Senate floor, where he allows us to take pictures of ourselves brandishing the gavel. Before the last election, Reg explains, he was a Democratic state representative, serving as one of the 150 in this state. That was his job for a while, he says; now he has another one. His modest attitude is in profound contrast to the power-chasing world of DC. Read more

Top 10: circular economy resources

Abstract circular backgroundA representative of a leading US company recently told me that it was seeking a bigger presence in the UK because of our “thought leadership” on the circular economy.

That is in large part due to more than fifteen years of work by WRAP and Green Alliance, two organisations I have the privilege to work with, along with the Royal Society of Arts, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a host of progressive business organisations.

But how to access the wealth of excellent material available on the subject? For key entry points, here are my top ten suggestions to help you get to grips with the circular economy: Read more

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