This post is by Nigel Haigh, former director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and chair of Green Alliance from 1989 to 1998.
Five years ago Pope Francis published his encyclical about our environmental predicament, called Laudato Si’ – on care for our common home. My reaction at the time was delight that he had done so, but I failed to read it, probably like many readers of this blog. It is over 100 pages long after all. Read more
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.
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
The government is looking at ways for the forthcoming Energy Bill not only to drive investment in new sources of low carbon power but also to pay for much needed investment in energy efficiency. There are different ways this could be done but the government’s lead option is to enable energy efficiency projects to take part in a new capacity market aimed at making sure we have enough electricity generating capacity to keep the lights on. 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
After calling for more government action to help people reduce electricity use for nearly two years, we’re delighted that the government is finally taking it seriously.
Our recent report with WWF looked at three ways to reduce demand, as part of the government ‘s Electricity Market Reform, concluding that an electricity efficiency FiT is the best way forward. If it is introduced, it could stimulate a new market in negawatts or electricity saving by paying anyone who can to reduce their demand for electricity.
Putting a price on carbon is widely championed as an economically efficient way of cutting carbon emissions. Some even argue that pricing tools such as carbon taxes or cap and trade schemes should be allowed to operate on their own, and that renewable subsidies and regulation only distort the market.
However, a new report by Imperial College, On picking winners: the need for targeted support for renewable energy, funded by WWF-UK, shows that this is not the case. Carbon pricing on its own isn’t the best way to increase investment in renewables, especially those that are far from market such as wave and tidal. Here are three reasons why: Read more