Right now, the UK food system as a whole is bad for our health, bad for nature and the climate and, on top that, it is not even offering an economically sustainable livelihood for most farmers. The National Food Strategy, out today, sets out an integrated plan for how we can turn these problems around. Its insights on farming and land use are particularly exciting because they show how we can ‘have it all’: healthy food, as well as restored nature, carbon sinks and sustainable farm businesses.Read more
Tag Archives: climate
To mark world water day, here are 5 water-related facts, courtesy of Waterwise.
1. In the UK we flush 2 billion litres of water down the toilet every day.
2. In Abu Dhabi, average per capita household water consumption is 3,300 litres per day; in the UK it’s 150 litres, and to survive a human being needs about 4 litres. Read more
This post was first published on the New Statesman blog.
After three years of vigorous disagreement the political and economic commentariat seem to have found common ground. Infrastructure. Left and right now agree that it’s vital for the UK’s economic renewal, requires much greater infrastructure investment, and the Chancellor looks set to move it closer to the centre stage in the Budget. Read more
Unlike most people working on environmental issues, I spend most of my time finding and telling good news stories. When not editing the Green Alliance blog, I work on earthrise, an environmental TV show on Al Jazeera English that features promising solutions to environmental problems.
While I think we need to be realistic about the scale of the challenge, evidence suggests that there’s no quicker way to turn off your audience (whether they’re sitting on a sofa or in parliament) than being a full time purveyor of bad news.
So to lighten up your Friday afternoon, I thought I’d give you three reasons to be cheerful, gleaned from my experiences on earthrise. Read more
Two to three times a week I cycle to work, not primarily to reduce my carbon footprint but because it helps me to keep fit and saves money. I have solar panels on my house because the financial rate of return is far higher than I get in a savings account. I am also pleased that a by-product of these two acts is a reduction in my carbon footprint. Read more
This post by Federica Cocco first appeared on Full Fact on March 4th 2013.
In today’s politics roundup, the Sun reports that three quarters of the British public are concerned about one big national issue. If you think it’s the economy or crime, think again. It’s fuel prices.
The source is a poll conducted by an organisation which campaigns to – you guessed it – cut fuel costs. Ahead of the March 20th Budget, Fair Fuel UK ran an internet survey on their website in a move to “send a clear message to the Chancellor” that fuel duty should be cut “for the sake of the UK economy”. Read more
When it comes to the ways in which stuff is made, consumed, and disposed of, there’s a lot the UK could learn from Japan.
Japanese recycling rates are extraordinary: 98 per cent for metals for example and, in 2007, just five per cent of Japan’s waste ended up in a hole in the ground, compared with 48 per cent for the UK in 2008. Japan’s appliance recycling laws ensure the great majority of electrical and electronic products are recycled, compared with 30-40 per cent here. Of these appliances, 74-89 per cent of the materials they contain are recovered. Perhaps more significantly, many of these materials go back into the manufacture of the same type of products from which they were reclaimed . This is the ‘closed-loop’ holy grail of recycling essential for a truly circular economy.
So how has Japan managed it and can we do it too? Read more
It’s a widely held assumption on the part of policy-makers and activists that community engagement will lead to improved domestic energy saving. But does this assumption hold water? A three-and-a-half year research project funded under the UK Research Council’s (RCUK) Energy and Communities Programme, involving academics from the Universities of Southampton, Reading and Westminster, is testing this assumption through an innovative field experiment. Read more
As the year draws to a close here’s a look back at our top 10 most-read posts of the past 12 months. If you missed them first time round, now’s your chance to have a peek… Read more
This article first appeared in the New Statesman.
There is a sector where our economy is not dying, but flying. Somewhere that the UK continues to dominate the global stage, creating the deals, skills, services and products in an area the whole world is desperate to embrace. It will take until 2014 (at best) for our GDP to return to the pre-financial crisis level of 2007. In the same period, this sector will have grown by 40 per cent.
Unfortunately, this sector is the green economy. That means that, as far as some are concerned, it doesn’t count. Because green stuff isn’t meant to be about growth, only bills. In an oddly moralising way, many people seem to feel that something that does good can’t also bring economic benefits. Read more