Tag Archives: Europe

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

Being in the EU gives us greater power over our environment

countryside.jpgThis is an edited version of an article that features in the latest issue of Green Alliance’s journal Inside Track which focuses on the environmental case for staying in the EU.

Lord Deben is chair of the Committee on Climate Change. He was secretary of state for the environment, 1993-97, and minister for agriculture, fisheries and food, 1989-93.

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Greens should keep their powder dry: Brussels doesn’t always know best

4785409_sThis post is by Matthew Farrow, director of policy at the Environmental Services Association, writing in a personal capacity.

I recently attended a judicial review hearing for the first time. The subject was Defra’s interpretation of certain parts of the revised Waste Framework Directive. As I spent two long days listening to highly paid QCs argue over the precise legal meaning of the phrases ‘subject to’ and ‘necessary to facilitate or improve’, I recalled the hostility from many in the UK’s green movement to David Cameron’s EU speech  back in January. Read more

Why we’d be mad to leave the EU (hint: the public quite likes clean beaches)

Porthcurno beach and turquoise sea, Cornwall UK.This is a guest post by Caroline Jackson, former MEP and chairman of the European Parliament environment committee from 1999-2004.

“We need to examine whether the balance is right in so many areas where the European Union has legislated, including on the environment, social affairs and crime”

Thus said David Cameron in his recent “key speech” on Europe – and he sent an immediate shudder through the ranks of British environmentalists. What did he mean? Which bits of EU environmental policy is Britain going to raise in Brussels (when Owen Paterson has stopped worrying about horse/beef burgers)? What are the chances of getting anything changed anyway in existing legislation which it has been a pain to negotiate? Given that reform is needed in the EU approach to legislation (as I believe it is) is he going for the right targets? Read more

My big idea: get more involved in Europe

This post is by Julie Hill, Green Alliance associate and chair of the Circular Economy Task Force.

It is part of a new series where experts argue for one policy change that could dramatically cut the UK’s environmental impact.

My big idea is this: join Europe.  As in not just sign up, but really join in, in fact take a lead.  Leaving the monetary union fiasco aside, there are plenty of areas where such a strategy might pay long term dividends, but none is more obviously beneficial than environmental policy. Read more