This post is by Donal McCarthy, senior policy officer at the RSPB and co-ordinator of the Greener UK ‘Brexit and Devolution’ working group.
From the coverage surrounding the launch of the UK government’s long awaited 25 year environment plan last week, one could easily have been forgiven for thinking it set out a long term strategy for restoring nature across the four UK nations. In fact, most of its proposals will only apply to England and, to a more limited extent, the UK Overseas Territories.
No vision for collaboration between UK nations
Since the late 90s, most areas of environmental policy have been devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As such, the new plan largely focuses on those aspects of environmental policy reserved to the UK government. Read more
This post is by Tom Lancaster, senior policy officer at the RSPB, and Marcus Gilleard, senior policy programme manager at the National Trust.
For a couple of policy wonks on the Brexit front line, perspective can be hard to come by at times. So we’ve taken a few days to digest Michael Gove’s speech at last week’s Oxford Farming Conference and assess where it leaves us in our quest for a more sustainable farming and land management system.
The Prime Minister’s latest intervention in the EU referendum campaign illustrates how the environment is taking its place in the modern political canon. Speaking from the RSPB’s Rainham Marshes nature reserve, Cameron noted how our EU membership underpins crucial environmental protections, and talked about the importance of nurturing Britain’s countryside and wildlife. At the same time, his speech, if not his words, demonstrated that environmentalists are important too.
This post is by Paul Morling, principal economist for the RSPB.
UK and EU policy makers have increasingly favoured the use of voluntary approaches, like industry self regulation, as a low cost, more flexible alternative to binding regulations or market based instruments.
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
This post is by Mike Clarke, CEO of the RSPB.
When governments put their minds to protecting our environment, they can achieve some extraordinary things.
Climate change action has the potential to be one of them. It was a small triumph of global co-operation that 195 countries ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Even though there’s still a long way to go before we have a fair, ambitious and binding new deal, it is testament to strong international leadership that countries are willing to act together. The UK’s cross party pledge on climate change, brokered by Green Alliance, demonstrates that climate commitment continues even in challenging economic times. Read more
There has been no shortage of great proposals in our series of big manifesto ideas for the parties going into the next election.
Leading thinkers have contributed ideas, alongside our own, for achievable actions to make the UK a greener, more prosperous country, on areas like low carbon infrastructure and innovation, and community involvement in energy supply and planning. Read more
The Green Standard 2013, published today, assesses the environmental leadership provided by senior ministers and shadow ministers from the UK’s three main parties since the last election in May 2010. Here, the leaders of the seven organisations behind the assessment, including Green Alliance, introduce the review.
Our intention is not to compare and contrast the parties directly, or to repeat the comprehensive policy audits published as Climate Check and Nature Check, but to look at the performance of the main political leaders in Westminster.
Leadership matters. UK politicians are in a unique position to enlist the support of party members, citizens and organisations, including business, behind the UK’s environmental and climate change goals. Read more
This guest post is by Archie Davies, acting head of European policy campaigns at the RSPB.
The government’s review of the balance of competences is trundling on to its next stage. The wide-ranging review of where the balance of power lies between the EU and the UK seeks to start from first principles, and has no sacred cows: all elements of European policy are up for debate. It’s a curious beast: neither a convincing sop to EU escapeniks, nor – given that other European governments have decided to stay out of it – a communal effort to reach a new equilibrium. It appears to be a serious intellectual endeavour, but it’s also an answer in search of a question. Read more
With the high-level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda meeting in Bali next week, civil society organisations around the world are making their case for what should be in the new development framework.
One thing that has united environment and development groups is trying to ensure that the next set of goals help nations develop for the long term, not just until the next extreme weather event or energy crunch. Given the increasingly serious threats facing the world’s poorest, and their dependence on the natural environment for their livelihoods and survival, the new set of goals must leave developing nations better prepared to manage the risks that they face. Read more