Tag Archives: featured

Why the Environment Bill’s so called ‘triple lock’ isn’t the safety mechanism the government says it is

This post is by Philippa Goodwin, senior policy officer at the RSPB

Anyone tuning in to parliamentary debates on the Environment Bill will have heard Environment Minister Rebecca Pow refer to the ‘triple lock’ mechanism, which she says is key to driving short term environmental progress. She has already used this analogy during the bill’s second reading and twice during the bill’s committee stage on 10 March and 3 November, and we are promised that we will hear a great deal more about it as the bill progresses. So, does it stand up to scrutiny and will it deliver the legal certainty that the minister is clearly hoping for? Here are our responses to the triple lock mechanism.

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Tax reform for climate justice: are we ready for it?

This post is by Sara Hall, head of movement and partnerships at Tax Justice UK

The climate crisis is intensifying and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing levels of inequality in the UK. This highlights the urgent need for a just and green recovery and, more specifically, for the tax and climate justice agendas to go hand-in-hand. But we need to get our act together quickly to make sure they do.

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Despite new government powers to recover the oceans, still nothing is guaranteed

This post is by Helen McLachlan, WWF-UK’s fisheries programme manager and chair of Greener UK’s work on fisheries.

As the Fisheries Act receives Royal Assent, it is important to reflect where we have got to, four years after the Brexit referendum. From the outset of the legislative process, Greener UK urged the UK and devolved governments to take this once in a generation opportunity to establish the UK as world leaders in sustainable fisheries management.

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Will the PM’s plan put the environment at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery?

After weeks of uncertainty about when and whether the ten point plan would be launched, it’s finally out. This is a really significant step, as it makes clear that the government sees the need to tackle climate change and boost low carbon industries as central to supporting economic recovery and creating jobs across the country. And it reflects the strong public support that exists to prioritise action on climate and nature in the UK’s response to the pandemic.

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Why care should be at the heart of climate policy

This post is by Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the climate emergency, business & energy and transport

I recently visited Dose of Nature, a charity in Kew established to promote the mental and physical health benefits of engaging with the natural world. Through educative activities and hands on experience, the charity’s work feeds into popular narratives of natural settings as places of refuge and comfort in times of psychological distress that can inspire wonder, serenity and peace.

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Will the government’s new Environmental Land Management scheme live up to its promise?

This post is by Alice Groom, senior policy officer at the RSPB.

Work done by farmers will be central to bringing back wildlife and protecting our most cherished landscapes. And business as usual is not an option, as we are losing our wildlife and our pollinators at an alarming rate, our soil is eroding away and most of our rivers are in a terrible condition. 

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Without the right building blocks in place, ‘net zero’ will just be an aspiration

To most people ‘infrastructure’ is an abstract word. Something engineers and policy wonks worry about, which has little to do with their everyday lives. And yet, from the buildings we live and work in, how we move around, the way we get our energy and water, to the systems that give us access to food and other goods, infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and our society. It governs all of our choices, including how green we can be.

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Three tests the government’s green recovery plans should be measured against

This post is by Belinda Gordon, strategy director and Roz Bulleid, interim deputy policy director at Green Alliance

While the risk of a second coronavirus wave was always there, the rapidity with which we’ve been driven back into lockdown has taken the country by surprise. We now feel a long way off ‘recovering’ from the pandemic, both in health and economic terms. While the chance of a vaccine in the next few months looks promising, there is broad agreement that it won’t be the silver bullet that allows life to ‘go back to normal’ anytime soon. So, the reality is that we need to learn to live with the virus, at least in the short term. This includes working out how we continue to make progress to address the other, longer term crisis we face: that of climate change and the destruction of nature.

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After the bill, it’s time to act: what next for agriculture and trade?

This post is by David Walsh, public affairs adviser for WWF UK and a contributor to Greener UK’s work on the Agriculture Bill. 

The Agriculture Bill has finally completed its long, and at times tortuous, passage through parliament. For the past year, we’ve seen the debate focus on the effect of trade on agriculture, with millions of people signing petitions, tweeting and writing to their MPs. But, amongst this noise, it is important not to forget the fundamental principle of the bill: that public money should pay farmers to deliver public goods, which has remained at the heart of our future agriculture policy.  

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The single misuse problem: it’s not just about plastic

This post is by Colin Church, chief executive of IOM3 and chair of Green Alliance’s Circular Economy Task Force.

Single use plastic is evil, or so we are repeatedly told in the media. From ‘Blue planet’ to ‘The war on plastic’, much recent discussion has focused on moving away from plastic. I’m not going to argue that plastic stirrers are a good thing, but ‘plastic bad – all other materials good’ is just too simplistic; I want to make the case for a different approach.

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