This post was first published in London Government Chronicle.
Since their introduction in the mid-2010s, it is fair to say that metro mayors have never enjoyed greater public and political visibility than they do currently after a series of recent political dramas. These include Andy Burnham’s spectacular showdown with Number 10 over compensation for three tier restrictions, Tracy Brabin’s victory in becoming the first mayor of West Yorkshire, triggering a hard fought by-election in her former seat of Batley and Spen, and the prime minister seemingly forgetting the name of the then sitting Conservative mayor of West England, Tim Bowles. Together with the day-to-day management of the regional pandemic response, these moments have demonstrated the capability of metro mayors, as well as their potency in influencing Westminster politics.
This post is by Richard Hebditch, director of external affairs at the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF).
The latest progress report from the Climate Change Committee makes it crystal clear that all sectors and organisations need to be part of the solution to climate change, and that the UK’s net zero target has helped to create the conditions for growing commitments from business and government.
The Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) progress report last week rightly expressed its disappointment that a number of government strategies have been continuously delayed, among them the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Treasury’s final Net Zero Review. These will all be important as part of the expected overarching Net Zero Strategy which will set the pace for how the government plans to reach its economic goal of net zero carbon by 2050. The CCC hopes that the strategy will address the current significant shortfall in policies and ambition.
This post is by Libby Peake, head of resources and Tom Booker, policy assistant at Green Alliance.
In 2012, the year we launched our Circular Economy Task Force (CETF), our annual review noted: “Circular economy thinking has begun to influence economic policy in Germany, China and Japan. It is beginning to gain traction in the UK, but we still have a long way to go.”
This post is by James Heath, chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission.
I write this from a modern flat in the centre of a big city on the hottest day of the year so far, unable to open my windows because a telecoms operator is digging up my street to lay full fibre broadband cables.
I hesitate to complain about my situation, not least as there will be many millions in far more precarious situations as a result of global warming, and because faster internet connections can reduce more carbon intensive activities like the daily commute.
This post is by Paul Morling, principal economist at the RSPB, and James Fotherby of Green Alliance.
It is difficult not to see the government’s response to the Dasgupta Review, published this week, as a significant moment. In accepting two of the most fundamental arguments of the review: that nature is what ultimately sustains our economies and that reversing biodiversity loss is foundational to achieving a nature positive economy, the government has taken the first bold steps towards tackling the nature crisis.
The government has just received the clearest, and most alarming, picture yet of what the changing climate could mean for the future of the UK.
Whilst the devastating global impacts of climate change are well documented, the details in the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC’s) Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk brings it much closer to home. The committee’s projections for the UK should send shockwaves through government and be a wake up call that we need to focus on climate adaptation.
This post was originally published by City A.M.
Some truisms are worth repeating: the Treasury is powerful. Unlike its counterparts overseas, the Treasury in Britain is able to set policy for economic development and control government spending. This power, however, is also an impediment on progress. It is one of the slowest Whitehall departments to change its ways and is holding back the government’s green agenda.
This post is by Joe Tetlow and James Fotherby of Green Alliance.
The prime minister’s Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution was published last November with the intention of framing the way the UK could “build back better” from the pandemic on the way to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This post is by Greg Archer and Matt Finch of Transport & Environment.
If holiday makers ignore the cost of flights they quickly max-out their credit cards and create a cash crisis. If countries omit their international aviation (and shipping) emissions from their national carbon budgets they run the risk of overshooting their climate targets and contribute to frying the planet. So the UK’s decision to include our international flights and shipping emissions in its sixth carbon budget is not just good accountancy, it is a huge step forward towards limiting these pernicious, invisible and, to date, largely unmanaged emissions.