Tag Archives: politics

MPs’ scrutiny of the Withdrawal Bill is crunch time for the environment

DSC_8618As Greener UK has already highlighted, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is crucial in ensuring the protection of the UK’s environment. So we will be on high alert when MPs begin their detailed scrutiny of the bill in a little over a week.

It has some major deficiencies, including the omission of the environmental principles which underpin many of our strongest protections. We are also concerned about what we’ve called the governance gap: if we break off relations with some or all EU institutions, we have to replace their functions in the UK to be able to operate to the highest of environmental standards. Read more

Why the clean growth plan will be important to young voters

15308764271_4ef1786a7b_kClimate and the environment have been steadily making their way up the political agenda of the British public, and younger voters are leading the march.

In 2012, when the then Department for Energy and Climate Change carried out the first wave of its energy and climate change public opinion tracker, only two per cent of the people asked felt that climate change was the biggest challenge facing Britain.

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Brexit: time to get serious

European Union and British Union Jack flag flying in front of Big Ben and Westminster Palace, London, in preparation for the Brexit EU referendumOne of Mrs Thatcher’s governments’ most enduring achievements was the European single market, steered into existence by the Conservative European Commissioner, Lord Cockfield. In his memoirs, Cockfield recalled the time he had to tell the prime minister that introducing the single market would entail a degree of tax harmonisation to prevent trade barriers.

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What does climate change look like through the eyes of a politician?

hop 2I’m in a café in the House of Commons, talking to a newly-elected MP about climate change. He’s under no illusions about likely impacts. He points out that where we’re sitting, beside the River Thames, could be under water in decades to come. He calls climate change ‘catastrophic’, and looks for every opportunity he can to raise the issue.  But his commitment has come at a price: speaking out on climate is, he tells me, a ‘career-limiting move’.

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What are the manifestos promising on the environment?

14749841802_5d8c28456f_kNext Tuesday for the first time in this election campaign, the public will get the chance to put questions directly to the major parties on their ambitions and aims for the environment in the next parliament at the Greener UK Hustings.

The debate will include issues like air quality and pollution, nature protection, international leadership, farming and fisheries, climate change and, perhaps most pertinently, what the UK’s exit from the EU will mean for all of the above. Read more

Are politicians ‘taming’ climate change with the language they use?

wordcloud-2This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis, it is based on research presented in a paper published by the journal Environmental Politics.

While climate deniers on both sides of the Atlantic attract media and public attention, the overwhelming majority of politicians in the UK support the scientific consensus on climate change. Just five out of 650 MPs voted against the Climate Change Act in 2008, and major parties in Westminster have all pledged their support for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, signed in December 2015. Read more

Conference diary: plenty of talk of power but where was energy?

Liverpool.jpgTravelling back to London on an overcast Wednesday afternoon (in the booked seat of a train company that shall remain nameless), the air conditioning broke and a small but steady stream of water leaked from the ceiling into my lap. The same thing happened to other people up and down the length of the carriage: dripping on scalps, trickling down backs and, in one unfortunate case, pouring straight onto a hapless worker’s laptop. The incident led to much British tutting and rolling of eyes. Complaints to the guard were followed by conversations with neighbours, the sharing of napkins and even a few jokes. This annoying shared experience led to a sense of unity amongst my previously silent fellow travellers.

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