This post is by Nigel Haigh, former director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and chair of Green Alliance from 1989 to 1998.
Few people now remember the peculiar character of British environmental policy that existed before the EEC (now EU) began to exert an influence in the mid-1970s. Many reading this blog may not even have been born then. Read more
A 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
This post is by Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon. It was first posted on his blog.
MPs get lobbied a lot. Pretty much daily. Its part of the job and there is a growing industry set up to influence us to act in all kinds of ways and pass all kinds of laws. I can’t recall the last time a lobbying exercise persuaded me to change tack. Read more
This 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
In what could be his last days as environment secretary, Michael Gove has delivered an agenda setting speech in which he lamented the catastrophic loss of biodiversity across the globe and at home, highlighting that the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world. He drew attention to the many other environmental threats we face, including the scourge of plastic pollution, toxic air and threats to water quality. Michael Gove’s self-confessed conversion from ‘shy green’ to ‘full-throated environmentalist’ is now complete. Read more
This post is by Thomas Hale, associate professor of global public policy and director of China engagement at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University
Although final approval is needed, the UN will likely tap the UK to host next year’s critical climate summit. COP26, as the conference is called, will be the first test of countries’ appetite to raise their climate pledges under the historic Paris Agreement adopted in 2015. With success far from being certain, the UK will need to go beyond traditional state-to-state diplomacy and mobilise all of society. Read more
This post is by Greg Archer, UK director at Transport and Environment.
The UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 is a milestone in the battle against climate change and an important signal to other EU members still debating whether to match the goal. However, setting targets is the easy part. The devil will be in the detail about how to meet them. This is particularly the case with transport, where emissions have been virtually unchanged since 1990 and now account for a third of UK total greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
When did Brexit become a ‘thing’, an end in itself? During the 2016 referendum campaign, Brexiteers promised a bright future for the UK outside the EU. Now, that promise has largely dwindled to delivering Brexit and fulfilling the “will of the people”, regardless of any consequences. It is as if Brexit has become a medicine we must take, even if it half kills the patient. Read more
This post is by Gwen Buck, policy adviser at Green Alliance, and Rebecca Willis, Green Alliance associate and professor in practice at Lancaster University.
In the same week parliament has announced a national Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, we are analysing the findings of our pilot deliberative democracy project, which brought citizens together with MPs to discuss, debate and deliberate ways for the UK to cut carbon across all sectors and get us on the path to net zero. Read more
This post is by Andrew McCloy, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority. He writes here in a personal capacity.
Melanie Haiken recently outlined the dire implications of climate change on North America’s national parks if drastic action isn’t taken soon. US parks are warming at twice the national average and, without significant action, the outlook for their fragile ecosystems and varied biodiversity is bleak. Iconic parks like Sequoia, Glacier Bay and Joshua Tree could lose their namesake features altogether. Read more