This post is by Tom West, UK environment lead at ClientEarth.
Where does your stuff come from? It’s a classic environmental refrain to consider the origin of the clothes you wear, the food you eat and all the general stuff you accumulate. So the UK government’s ambitions to sign new trade deals and open our markets to new goods from around the world is really very relevant to those who care about how things are made. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance associate Julie Hill.
Peers are moving to relax the EU-derived regulatory regime for gene editing, a sub-set of genetic modification (GM) techniques aimed at enhancing crops. This is being done via an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, so the secretary of state for the environment can alter the legislation without going back to parliament. It is a short cut that threatens to rekindle a heated and unhelpfully polarised debate. Read more
In the House of Commons last Wednesday, Conservative MP Simon Hoare stood up and proudly described the Woodland Trust as a group of Leninists. Read more
This post is by Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust. A longer version was published by the Daily Telegraph.
Right now, the nation’s attention is rightly focused on dealing with the immediate and profound impact of Covid-19 on health, social fabric and livelihoods. But governments around the world are beginning to turn their thoughts to recovery. Read more
This post is by Tom Lancaster, head of land, seas and climate at the RSPB, and Ellie Brodie, head of land management at The Wildlife Trusts, on behalf of Greener UK and Wildlife and Countryside Link, in consultation with Sustain and the Soil Association.
As we contemplate week six of lockdown, Covid-19 continues to shine an unforgiving light on the inequity of the global food system and its consequences for nature and people.
The shocking impact of this crisis has made us all think about the fragility of our daily existence. It has brought about a renewed focus on our essential needs and, in doing so, prompted debate about the interconnectedness and resilience of our food system and supply chains. Read more
This post is by Tom Lancaster, head of land, seas and climate at the RSPB. A version of this post has also been published on Wildlife and Countryside Link’s blog.
For the organisations involved in Greener UK and Wildlife and Countryside Link, the new Agriculture Bill, announced this week, is one of the most important pieces of legislation for years. Read more
The National Farmers Union (NFU) have set the ambitious goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a full ten years before the government’s countrywide target of 2050. This is a laudable target which presents some interesting challenges specific to the agricultural sector. Read more
Last week the government published the latest statistics on wild bird populations in the UK, which show that the UK is in trouble. The statistics may have slipped under the radar for many given the election’s dominance of the news cycle, but they are a must read for anyone who cares about our natural world. Read more
This post is by Miles King of People Need Nature.
The current tax system operates against the sort of public benefit that the new agricultural policy established by Michael Gove is seeking to create. English landowners receive £2.4 billion a year in tax breaks for which there is little or no benefit to society. This amount of money is almost exactly the same as landowners receive in farm subsidies and it exposes a contradiction: although the system of providing payments to farmers is being fundamentally reformed, the tax breaks received will be untouched. Read more
This post is by Tim Lang, professor of food policy, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London. It has also been published by the Food Research Collaboration.
The Agriculture Bill published last week was long awaited. It’s mostly about money: those £3.2bn Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies which will start evaporating in seven months.