A breath of fresh air: the five things we should do to cut air pollution

car fumes.jpg

The right of UK citizens to breathe clean air is routinely violated. In 2018, air pollution in London exceeded the legal limit for the entire year before the end of January. Across the country, toxic air is linked to 40,000 premature deaths each year. And this is not a recent phenomenon. The air in London and most urban areas in the UK has been illegally polluted since 2010.

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What will the Clean Air Strategy really do for people and nature?

Apis_mellifera_-_Senecio_paludosus_-_KeilaThis post is by Jenny Hawley, senior policy officer at Plantlife.

Debate around the government’s Clean Air Strategy has been focused on whether it will cut the roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution from city traffic. But it is also supposed to take a long overdue look at other air quality issues. Read more

Three reasons why the government should help us do more with waste

plastic-631625_1280UK recycling has a problem. Over the years, we have become reliant on the Chinese market to take our low quality recycling. But China doesn’t want our waste anymore. In fact, it says it no longer wants any “foreign garbage”, as shipments of low quality material from countries like the UK have “polluted China’s environment seriously.” Read more

How serious is the government about high standards for food and farming?

Various vegetables on display in grocery storeMost of us don’t have to think too much about the food we eat, beyond “what on earth am I going to cook this evening?” We assume there will be food we want at an affordable price, and that, if it is on the shelf, it is safe to eat and has been produced to acceptable environmental and welfare standards. But the new trade relationships we negotiate after Brexit could present significant risks to the UK’s food system which could put an end to this confidence. Read more

The future of upland farming in the UK: a business model that works

upland farming sheep.jpgThis post is by Chris Clark of Nethergill Farm. It is the second in a short series about the options for the future of upland hill farming in the UK. 

In my previous blog I outlined the economic challenges faced by hill farmers today and suggested ways that they can take back control of their businesses and become profitable in a post-Brexit world. Here, I outline how, at Nethergill Farm, we came to realise we had to fundamentally change our business model to survive.

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Just how independent will the new independent green watchdog be?

Song Thrush - Turdus philomelosThis post was first published by Business Green.

It’s by now becoming a familiar refrain: we will consult on establishing a new, independent watchdog to hold the government to account. This commitment was first proposed by environment secretary Michael Gove in November, has been repeated many times since and was encapsulated in the Defra consultation document on environmental principles and governance published on 10 May.

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Ten years on: reflections from the Grantham Institute on a decade of climate change research

180228-Prince_Albert-Grantham_Lecture-028.jpgThis post is by Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. He reflects on a decade of research and education in climate change and the environment as the institute celebrates its tenth anniversary.

 With a climate sceptic in the White House, record sea ice loss and atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.5 million years, it is easy to feel that attempts to curtail climate change and safeguard the environment have failed. However, reflecting on the past decade, it’s clear that we have come a long way in that time.

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