Tag Archives: Green Roots

Reform the Treasury to tackle major environmental challenges

shutterstock_Treasury_lo (2)This post is by Duncan Hames MP. It was first published by The Guardian

Tackling climate change and restoring the public finances both require a long term view, but politics continues to be driven by short term considerations.

A lack of long term thinking in government undermines effective policy making, and that really matters when it comes to the environment. The threat of climate change demands action now but, by its very nature, we won’t see many of the benefits of that action – or the consequences of inaction – for decades to come. Read more

Green conservatism: the market vs the environment

Herdwick_Sheep_-_geograph_org_uk_-_770498This post is by Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border. It is from a collection of essays: Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. There are similar collections published under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on ConservativeHome.

If you want to see why a conservative approach to environmental policy is necessary, consider the fate of Britain’s small upland farms. They are vanishing. Two thirds of our farmers and independent farms have been swept aside in the last few decades. As they disappear, the basic structure of rural life is being undermined: farmhouses are converted to expensive homes in empty valleys, where it is increasingly rare to see a farmer in a field. Read more

Avoiding an energy civil war

Stromleitung mit SonneThis essay, by Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, also appears in Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open market, published last week by Green Alliance. There are similar collections under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on BusinessGreen.

As things stand, energy risks becoming the most divisive issue within the Conservative Party, the place usually held by Europe. On one side are the Roundheads, determinedly modern, concerned about climate change and convinced renewable energy holds the key to future prosperity and environmental nirvana. On the other, the Cavaliers, dismissive of climate change and convinced that the right combination of tax relief and shale gas will enable the UK to reclaim its glory days as an energy exporter. Read more

How to build garden cities for the 21st century

Garden_City2This post is by Hugh Ellis, chief planner at the Town and Country Planning Association. It is taken from the collection of essays, published last week by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places.  This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published this week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This essay has also been posted on Labour List.

It is clear that the housing crisis is having a desperate impact on British people’s lives. It is also clear that the next government will have to face an acute economic and environmental crisis. The current national response to these complex challenges won’t secure the lasting progress we need. Welfare benefit reform is driving a whole new set of housing needs and new patterns of migration, and it’s increasing inequality and social division. Our deregulated planning system with no strategic teeth is at a low ebb and the ideologies of nudge theory and neoliberalism, although practically ineffective, still dominate the zeitgeist. Read more

The triple benefit of an ambitious energy efficiency programme

insulationThis post is by Will Straw, associate director for climate change, energy and transport at IPPR. It is taken from the collection of essays, published today by Green Alliance, Green social democracy: better homes in better places.  This pamphlet, alongside similar collections on ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ (to be published next week), are part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. A version of this piece has been published on Labour List.

Britain’s communities are facing three big challenges: a living standards crisis, a jobs crisis and a climate crisis. Improving Britain’s homes to make them more energy efficient is a significant part of the answer to all three but the government’s market-driven approach looks inadequate. Instead, greater shared responsibility between government, the market and civil society should be encouraged to address this triple crunch. So what does the British public think about these three problems and is there a solution for all three? Read more

Green liberalism: are Local Enterprise Partnerships working for low carbon development?

Business_Park,_SwindonThis post is by Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham. It is one of a collection of essays to be published later this week by Green Alliance, titled Green liberalism: a local approach to the low carbon economy. Similar collections will also be published under Green Alliance’s ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects, as part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This piece has also been published on Liberal Democrat Voice.

A one size fits all policy, devised at a distance, imposed on local communities and implemented rigidly, is unlikely to rise to the environmental challenges we face today. That’s why we should give Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) the freedom to grasp this challenge in a different way to traditional bodies, such as central government and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

LEPs are characterised by their variety. Most contain local enterprise zones, but others do not. Some receive local authority funding in addition to government grants, but others have set up as limited companies, enabling them to fund themselves. This diversity is echoed in their approaches to green growth: several have set out as trailblazers; while others would do well to follow that lead. Read more

Green conservatism: the benefits of real free trade in carbon

KraftwerkThis post is by Peter Franklin, former Conservative policy adviser and speech writer. It first appeared on Conservative Home and is an extract from the forthcoming collection of essays Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. Similar collections are being published under Green Alliance’s ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK.

There’s no use denying it, the environment is a difficult area for the Conservative Party. And the biggest environmental issue, climate change, presents the greatest difficulties.

Although Margaret Thatcher was the first world leader to warn about the threat of global warming, and although David Cameron has famously highlighted the issue too, other prominent Conservatives, including Nigel Lawson and Peter Lilley, have been outspoken in their opposition to the mainstream agenda on climate change. Read more

Green liberalism: why we need a local approach to sustainable transport

Sea_of_bikes,_Bristol_Temple_Meads_stationThis post is by Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge. It is one of a collection of forthcoming essays to be published by Green Alliance, titled Green liberalism: a local approach to the low carbon economy. Similar collections will also be published under Green Alliance’s ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects, as part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This piece has also been published on Liberal Democrat Voice.

A sustainable and low carbon transport system is something which UK governments have historically struggled to achieve, thanks to years of poor forward planning and systems which revolve heavily around cars, a highly inefficient mode of transport. But mobility patterns are changing, especially amongst young people, and sustainable transport systems are much more effective at meeting local social and economic needs. Read more