This post is by Rhian Ebrey. It is based on her research as a masters student at the University of Leeds.
I think that, writing this following the biggest global climate strike ever, it’s safe to say I’m not alone in feeling a growing dread with each successive IPCC report predicting the urgency of the global climate crisis. And yet, this urgency does not appear to be shared by everyone. I feel helpless and frustrated as world leaders appear hesitant to commit to the necessary changes needed to save our future and the planet. But the growing awareness of shared alarm and frustration, embodied through Greta Thunberg’s refreshingly direct speech at the UN’s COP24 climate conference last year, has sparked a social revolution, with prominent grassroots movements, including Extinction Rebellion and the Youth Strikes, growing around the world.
This post is by Lucy Bush, research director at BritainThinks
Deliberative research has been part of policy-making in the UK since the ’90s when BritainThinks’ founding partners, Deborah Mattinson and Viki Cooke ran the first-ever UK Citizens’ Jury. This jury, commissioned in 1994 by IPPR, explored the citizens’ take on health rationing. We’ve been using deliberative methodologies at BritainThinks since we were set up over nine years ago, helping government, businesses and not-for-profits put the citizen centre-stage to revitalise the public debate and bring fresh perspectives to complex policy challenges. Read more
This post is by Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon. It was first posted on his blog.
MPs get lobbied a lot. Pretty much daily. Its part of the job and there is a growing industry set up to influence us to act in all kinds of ways and pass all kinds of laws. I can’t recall the last time a lobbying exercise persuaded me to change tack. Read more
This post is by Jonathan Baggaley, chief executive of the PSHE Association.
Now that the changing of the seasons is unreliable, the school year seems reassuringly predictable. In September, whatever the weather, four and five-year olds across the country will bustle into schools and start their trip through the curriculum. Read more
This post is by Gwen Buck, policy adviser at Green Alliance, and Rebecca Willis, Green Alliance associate and professor in practice at Lancaster University.
In the same week parliament has announced a national Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, we are analysing the findings of our pilot deliberative democracy project, which brought citizens together with MPs to discuss, debate and deliberate ways for the UK to cut carbon across all sectors and get us on the path to net zero. Read more
In case you haven’t heard, the UK is in a political crisis. Parliament has come to a Brexit standstill, and any resolution will be fraught with unrest. Recent polling from the Hansard Society found that public faith in the political system is at a low, with feelings of powerlessness rife.
British environmental politics has not escaped this quagmire. Key pieces of legislation that were once sources of optimism for a green Brexit are frustratingly stuck in unsatisfactory form in their progression through parliament. To salvage her legacy, Theresa May could legislate for the CCC’s net-zero target, but that would require the cabinet consent that she has found so elusive during her tenure. Read more
This post is by Andrew McCloy, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority. He writes here in a personal capacity.
Melanie Haiken recently outlined the dire implications of climate change on North America’s national parks if drastic action isn’t taken soon. US parks are warming at twice the national average and, without significant action, the outlook for their fragile ecosystems and varied biodiversity is bleak. Iconic parks like Sequoia, Glacier Bay and Joshua Tree could lose their namesake features altogether. Read more
This post is by Georgina Mace, professor of biodiversity and ecosystems at University College London.
The recent UN IPBES Global Assessment on biodiversity and ecosystems exposed the dramatic decline of nature. Seventy five per cent of the land surface has been significantly altered, and among assessed groups of mammals and birds, one in four species are at risk of extinction. The average abundance of native species in most major terrestrial biomes has fallen by at least 20 per cent and land degradation has reduced productivity in 23 per cent of the global terrestrial area.
This crisis not only threatens the diversity of life on Earth. Ongoing degradation and changes to ecosystems pose further risks to people through threats to food, energy and water security, as well as being a significant driver of climate change. Read more
While travelling with my dad from Little Rock to Springdale, Arkansas, we took the scenic route through the Ozark National Forest. My lungs, eyes and ears were refreshed by the clean air, bright blue skies and green trees, and the sounds of animals and insects. As someone who has lived in cities for the past seven years, I was reminded of the beauty of the natural environment.
To fully enjoy the scenery, we decided to stop at a local kayak business. With classic southern hospitality, the store owner insisted that he would keep the store open for an extra two hours for us to ride down the Mulberry River. As his colleague drove us up the mountain to our mini adventure, the typical small talk arose. Read more
Today, a pub landlady, a student and a retired police inspector will be amongst those sitting in a church hall in the Lake District, debating the future of climate policy in the UK.
Green Alliance’s second citizens’ jury on climate change comes to Penrith. It is a chance for a community to come together, in the wake of parliament’s national climate emergency declaration, and make decisions on what it wants to see the government do to tackle climate change. Read more