Tag Archives: Paris 2015 climate conference

I’ve changed my mind on renewables targets

Off sure wind turbineThis post is by Chris Huhne, former UK energy and climate change secretary from 2010 to 2012 and current co-chair of ET Index which analyses the carbon risk of worldwide quoted companies. He advises Zilkha Biomass Energy and the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association.

One criticism of British energy and climate change policy over the past few years is that it has involved a ‘dash for renewables’ predicated on high oil and gas prices. That is not true.  During my time as secretary of state for energy and climate change, and subsequently, we were careful to balance all three families of low carbon electricity generation: renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, with carbon capture and storage. The reason? We could not predict the future, and did not know which would turn out the cheapest (or, indeed, what the oil and gas price would be).  In a time of great uncertainty, energy policy should be akin to investing in a portfolio of shares for retirement: however good one share looks now, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Read more

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

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

From Cumbria to Paris: when climate change gets personal

flood cumbriaThis post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis and also appears on her website.

I write this in the aftermath of Storm Desmond, which battered my home town of Kendal this weekend. I am lucky to live up a hill and, over the weekend, our house filled with flood refugees. We hunkered down to watch films as the wind howled outside. Today, a sizeable portion of my town is still under water. Schools are closed, which my kids obviously think is brilliant. But across the county of Cumbria, the devastation is truly terrible. It is only this morning, as the waters subside, that the extent of the damage to homes, livelihoods, transport and infrastructure is becoming clear. Read more

Why strong laws are needed now to protect and restore nature

This post is by Matt Adam Williams, climate policy officer for the RSPB.

World leaders are preparing to meet later this month in Paris to finalise a global deal on climate change that will take us past 2020. The European Union is also evaluating many of its laws, and some of those threatened with being changed or watered down are our most important nature laws, like the Birds and Habitats Directives. Evidence has shown that they deliver crucial protection for nature, work well and need to be maintained. Read more

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