This post is by Valentin Vogl, an academic working on sustainability transitions in the global steel industry.
This was supposed to be the UK’s climate leadership year. In November, global leaders will gather in Glasgow to try to tame and temper humanity’s climate disruption. Meanwhile, a mere 137 miles south in Cumbria, the UK is set to do the polar opposite and open up a new coal mine.
This post is by Professor Rebecca Willis and Professor Mike Berners-Lee of Lancaster University, co-authors of The case against new coal mines in the UK.
Cumbria’s West Coast, the very north western tip of England, is a place of beauty. From the rolling cliffs of St Bees, on a clear day you can see over the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. Turning inland, the Lake District fells dominate the view. William Wordsworth was born just a few miles away. Read more
This post was first published by Business Green.
The UK steel industry has suffered from decades of decline, with production dropping by nearly two thirds since 1970; 2015 was a particularly difficult year, and one from which the industry has yet to recover. A glut of steel on the international market – nearly half of it coming from China – sent prices plummeting and resulted in nearly 7,000 job losses to the already beleaguered UK steel industry.
UK recycling has a problem. Over the years, we have become reliant on the Chinese market to take our low quality recycling. But China doesn’t want our waste anymore. In fact, it says it no longer wants any “foreign garbage”, as shipments of low quality material from countries like the UK have “polluted China’s environment seriously.” Read more
Theresa May recently launched the centrepiece of her domestic agenda: the UK’s industrial strategy. After six months of commentary on the parallels between the phenomena that led to the Brexit vote and US election result, it is useful to reflect on the differences that are starting to emerge. A quick read of the green paper appears to show that May is charting a very different course on industrial strategy from the one now being advocated on the other side of the Atlantic. Significant differences are the approach to resource productivity and the attitude to growing low carbon markets. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance’s Dustin Benton, head of energy and resources, and Jonny Hazell, senior policy adviser.
Forget the theory: the first test of Britain’s new industrial strategy will be how it handles the steel crisis. Steel used to be the sign of an advanced manufacturing nation, and it still provides the sort of skilled employment outside London that Theresa May has promised to protect. It’s at the heart of the debate about exporting carbon emissions and Brexit Britain’s industrial future. The world will inevitably draw lessons from how it is handled.