Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kunming: what’s needed to make this year’s biodiversity summit a success

This post is by Stanley Johnson, international ambassador for the Conservative Environment Network.

The date of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) has still to be confirmed.  It was originally scheduled to be held in Kunming, China in the second quarter of this year (having been postponed from 2020), but it seems increasingly likely that an autumn date will be preferred in view of the continuing disruption caused by Covid 19. At the moment, the second half of October this year seems to be the favourite option, but the final decision must obviously rest with the host country, China.

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Why care should be at the heart of climate policy

This post is by Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the climate emergency, business & energy and transport

I recently visited Dose of Nature, a charity in Kew established to promote the mental and physical health benefits of engaging with the natural world. Through educative activities and hands on experience, the charity’s work feeds into popular narratives of natural settings as places of refuge and comfort in times of psychological distress that can inspire wonder, serenity and peace.

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Will the government’s new Environmental Land Management scheme live up to its promise?

This post is by Alice Groom, senior policy officer at the RSPB.

Work done by farmers will be central to bringing back wildlife and protecting our most cherished landscapes. And business as usual is not an option, as we are losing our wildlife and our pollinators at an alarming rate, our soil is eroding away and most of our rivers are in a terrible condition. 

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After the bill, it’s time to act: what next for agriculture and trade?

This post is by David Walsh, public affairs adviser for WWF UK and a contributor to Greener UK’s work on the Agriculture Bill. 

The Agriculture Bill has finally completed its long, and at times tortuous, passage through parliament. For the past year, we’ve seen the debate focus on the effect of trade on agriculture, with millions of people signing petitions, tweeting and writing to their MPs. But, amongst this noise, it is important not to forget the fundamental principle of the bill: that public money should pay farmers to deliver public goods, which has remained at the heart of our future agriculture policy.  

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The UK needs to fix its regulatory enforcement problem if it wants a resilient economy

This post is by Emma Rose, director of Unchecked UK.

The government has set out strong ambitions with respect to the environment, alongside welcome assurances that both Brexit and the Covid-19 crisis will lead to a strengthening, not a weakening, of environmental standards.

However, robust rhetoric will only get us so far. Ambitious polices and regulations are only as good as the enforcement which underpins them. Now, new research into the UK’s regulatory infrastructure reveals the sorry state of the regulators which enforce our most important environmental laws.

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Could digital tech cut food waste and tell us more about where our food comes from?

intext-van-foodAlong with the natural ecosystems that underpin it, our food system is a complex web of parts working to grow, manufacture and deliver food all over the world. In a previous blog I looked at the potential of digital technologies to link up these different parts to redirect surplus food and avoid waste. But could they also improve communication throughout the supply chain to prevent waste occurring in the first place? 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

In a socially distanced world we need each other more than ever

people smallThis time last year, I was really ill. I didn’t know it at the time but I was experiencing a severe and prolonged episode of depression, with a dash of anxiety and panic thrown into the mix. Over a period of months, ‘mental health’ quickly transitioned from being a trendy social media hashtag to a very real experience of confusion, distress and loss. Read more

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