Category Archives: Uncategorized

Government should be helping to transform protected landscapes for the good of nature, climate and people

This post is by Abi Bunker, director of conservation and external affairs at the Woodland Trust; David Hampson, sites policy officer at the RSPB; Ben McCarthy, head of nature conservation and restoration ecology at the National Trust; and Jo Smith, CEO at The Derbyshire Wildlife Trusts.

In 2019, the Glover Review concluded that England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are uniquely placed to drive nature’s recovery, deliver nature-based solutions to the climate crisis and connect people with nature. It also found that these protected landscapes are falling a long way short of their potential. Successive surveys, such the one conducted by the Campaign for National Parks in 2016, have highlighted that the public wants them to play these roles and the review proposed the changes needed.

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After the Dasgupta Review: what the Treasury should do next

This post is by Beccy Speight, CEO, and Paul Morling, principal economist of the RSPB.

Silent Spring triggered a new era of awareness of the harm we can do to nature when it was published in 1962. Its author, Rachel Carson, said, “The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road the one ‘less travelled by’ offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth.” 

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Why Europe doesn’t need Cumbria’s coking coal

This post is by Valentin Vogl, an academic working on sustainability transitions in the global steel industry.

This was supposed to be the UK’s climate leadership year. In November, global leaders will gather in Glasgow to try to tame and temper humanity’s climate disruption. Meanwhile, a mere 137 miles south in Cumbria, the UK is set to do the polar opposite and open up a new coal mine.

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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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To lead the world this year on the environment, the UK must put its own house in order first

A welcome new report from the cross cutting Public Accounts Committee has set down a clear challenge for the government on why action to meet its long term environmental goals must be accelerated.

Coming only days after the announcement that the flagship Environment Bill was being carried over into the next parliamentary session, bringing a delay of some six months, the report offers a timely reminder that environmental progress cannot be assumed and requires sustained leadership and commitment.

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Why the economy needs biodiversity

This post is by Professor Diane Coyle and Dr Matthew Agarwala. The article was originally published on the Bennett Institute for Public Policy’s blog.

The UK government commissioned independent review on the Economics of Biodiversity, by our Cambridge colleague Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, is a landmark. Launched on the 2 February it sets out forcefully the imperative for action to halt, and reverse, a catastrophic decline in biodiversity over recent decades. The case it makes is a pragmatic one. Many people will agree there is a moral case for humanity to be good stewards of the rest of nature, but the review’s point is that the economic case is powerful too; ethics and economics are not separate.

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Clarity of vision will separate short term recovery from long term renewal

This post is by Sam Alvis, head of Green Renewal at Green Alliance. This article was originally published on Business Green

As watchers of The Queen’s Gambit will know, every slide of a pawn in chess affects your ability to win hundreds of turns down the line. Even in the heat of the game, players must be thinking about their long term strategy. And so it is for business in the current crisis. Many are in the grips of working out how to survive, but they also know that the decisions they and the government take today will shape how successful they will be for years to come.

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It is time to seal the marriage between carbon finance and forest protection

This post is by Matthew Spencer, global director of landscapes at IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative.

All carbon pollution is equal: this is a founding assumption of the UN Climate Convention, because the atmospheric effect of a tonne of carbon dioxide emitted from a smoking tropical tree in Mato Grosso is no different from a tonne billowing from a coal power station in Missouri.

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There are signs of hope for England’s marine protected areas

This post is by Gareth Cunningham, RSPB’s principle marine policy officer

The Isles of Scilly are internationally important for seabirds, and one of only two places in England where Manx shearwater and storm petrel breed. Over the past decade a huge amount of work has been done to boost the numbers of these two burrow nesting species through the eradication of rats on the islands of St Agnes and Gugh.

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