As an environmentalist, I’m not a big fan of offsetting. Not only does it probably lead to increased pollution, absolving us of responsibility for our emissions, but carbon credits have also been notoriously poor at actually delivering the carbon reductions they claim. I’ve not set foot on a plane since 2011 as I struggle to justify flying, even with a carbon offset. Read more
COVID-19 has rapidly changed the world we live in, as governments rightly prioritise our safety and wellbeing and ask us all to stay home. One of the upshots, for those of us lucky enough to be well, is that we now have plenty of time to reflect. Read more
The UK’s transport sector has not stepped up to the plate in cutting carbon emissions to date, with a meagre 4.5 per cent reduction in its emissions since 1990, compared to 63 per cent in the power sector. Its performance has been lower than every other sector in the UK. Read more
The Covid-19 virus, our personal health and safety and the response by the government and public health authorities are rightly occupying much of our work and home life at present. A rapid metamorphosis in how parliament operates is underway to deal with the threat. This could lead to both opportunities and challenges for how we engage with parliamentarians, how laws will be scrutinised and how the government will be held to account. Read more
This is not the blog I expected to write to launch my book. As I sit at my desk, on a Monday morning, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting home. My kids are adjusting to a much smaller world, without school or friends. My older teen is giving my younger teen a maths lesson, while I agonise about whether it’s safe to let them go to the park. In the space of a few weeks, everything has changed. Read more
“We are living in an unusual time, a time of real social history – history that you will be able to tell your children about…. The History department would like you to keep a diary of your experiences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” Read more
This post is by Katie de Kauwe, lawyer at Friends of the Earth.
The government’s policy giving the green light to Heathrow expansion and establishing the need for more airport capacity in the south east was ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal on climate grounds last month. This ruling follows years of work by the legal team at Friends of the Earth (myself included), along with our external solicitors at Leigh Day, and barristers (David Wolfe QC at Matrix Chambers, Peter Lockley at 11KBW and Andrew Parkinson at Landmark Chambers). And, of course, the absolutely tireless work, campaigning and commitment from local residents who are the unsung heroes of the piece. Read more
This blog is by Dr Peter Mallaburn, a researcher from the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions. It is part of a series reflecting on the need for energy demand reduction in the UK.
We spend most of our lives inside buildings, and the energy we use to light, heat and cool them is responsible for a third of UK CO2 emissions. So, now we need to take more action to tackle climate change and bring down emissions, and buildings are an important target for government policy. Read more
This post is by Georgina Collins of Hope for the Future
The significance of the UN conference COP26 cannot be underestimated; this is the deadline for countries to update their climate plans and set out their Nationally Determined Contributions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement (where 195 countries agreed to limit global warming to 2°C, and a greater ambition to pursue limiting warming to 1.5°C. Read more
The BBC ran a story this week with the headline ‘The UK can’t go climate neutral before 2050’, citing an important report from the independent research body, the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC). That report details a set of pathways to getting the UK to net zero by 2050 and is careful to highlight that it is not prescriptive. While we cannot expect nuance in a news headline, suggesting that it is impossible to hit net zero carbon before 2050 belies the very nature of innovation. Read more