Tag Archives: COP21

Earning our living in a low carbon world

Peter Mandelson2This post is by the Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, former UK secretary of state for business, innovation and skills. It is the speech he gave to the event ‘Will the UK succeed in a low carbon world’ on 9 June 2016, organised by Green Alliance, with CAFOD, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, RSPB and WWF.

During my time as business secretary I was preoccupied with one question: how does the UK earn its living in an ever more competitive global economy?

Today the question remains the same, but the answer is changing. And, as the report by Green Alliance and other environment and development groups forcefully argues, any answer to that question must include how the UK competes in the global low carbon economy.

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We should copy France and make energy saving more fun

Photo credit EIE Pays de la LoireThis blog is by Micol Salmeri, policy assistant in the low carbon energy theme at Green Alliance.

France is tackling climate change at the local level by exploiting people’s natural competitiveness. For the past eight years, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), in collaboration with local energy agencies (such as Prioriterre), has been using energy saving competitions to encourage people to create ‘Positive Energy Families’. It has had a big impact, with nearly 30,000 families or teams, in 81 of the 101 French départements (counties), taking part since 2008, saving an average of £160 per household. Read more

How investors will drive up demand for renewables

Wind Turbine and sun from belowThis post is by Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction and Green Alliance trustee.

The focus of the investment community, in the run up to the Paris COP21, was on the financial risks of investments in fossil fuel companies. Understandably so, as these companies’ profits and valuation depend on activities that directly contribute to climate change. While the divestment movement has called for large institutions to move their money out of fossil fuels, others have chosen to engage with companies which have carbon heavy business models, challenging them on their preparations for the inevitable shift to a lower carbon economy. Read more

Was Paris a success? ‘Yes’, ‘no’ and ‘it depends’

paris cop21This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis, author of our 2014 report Paris 2015: Getting a global agreement on climate change. It is also published on her website.

Six years after the failure of the climate negotiations at Copenhagen, agreement has at last been reached in Paris. Can we call this success? Weighing up the outcome, the answer is emphatically “yes”, but in some senses “no”, and in large part “it depends”, on how the agreement is received, and what happens next. Read more

It’s time for a new Conservative narrative on low carbon

This post is by the Rt Hon Lord Barker of Battle, minister for energy and climate change from 2010 to 2014.

As we waited last week for the final agreement to emerge from COP21, David Cameron celebrated his tenth anniversary as leader of the Conservative Party, a position won in part because of his call for a fresh, ambitious approach to the environment. His government has now been at the heart of the international efforts that secured an historic climate deal in Paris. Read more

What does the Paris agreement mean for the UK?

1fe618a8-cbea-4c11-843b-acdd28e1d355Few political deals deserve to be called historic but, as President Obama tweeted a few minutes after the gavel came down in Paris, “this is huge”. It’s huge because it’s a global agreement which means every country has to review its effort every five years. Historic because it’s a one way street to net zero emissions, and it will accelerate the low carbon technology shift we are already seeing in the global energy economy. Read more

Will beauty be the source of our salvation?

This post is by Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, master of Emmanuel College and chair of Green Alliance. It forms part of NOW’s Sharing Our World series. It first appeared on the Network of Wellbeing’s blog.

Until the floods this weekend I was feeling frustrated by the lack of news from the COP21 Paris Conference about climate change. Climate change seemed marginal to the more immediately pressing and vital concerns of Syria, refugees and terrorist attacks.   Read more

No more nudges – only an entrepreneurial state can give us a green revolution

Nurturing UK cleantech enterprise-1This post is by Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips professor in the economics of innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex, author of The entrepreneurial state: debunking public vs private sector myths and Green Alliance trustee.

Speaking at the start of the COP21 meeting in Paris, President Obama told delegates:

“We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another; they can work in concert with one another.”

He’s right that a green economy need not come at the expense of growth. Policy makers must also now recognise that we cannot rely on the private sector to bring about the kind of radical reshaping of the economy that is required. As Bill Gates recently acknowledged, only the state can provide the kind of patient finance and direction required to make a decisive shift.

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