The future of upland farming in the UK: what farmers are facing

This post is by Chris Clark of Nethergill Farm. It is the first in a short series about the options for the future of upland hill farming in the UK. With the increased uncertainty regarding the viability of hill farms, the time is now ripe for farmers to think radically about hill farm management and consider new alternatives in a

Here’s what Theresa May should now do to end plastic pollution

After years of waiting, we finally have it: this morning, Theresa May launched her government’s 25 year plan for the environment. By far the most talked about aspect of the long awaited and wide ranging strategy is the prime minister’s promise to “demonstrate global leadership” by addressing needlessly produced plastic. This will be achieved, she vowed, through action “at every

The prime minister’s environment speech must herald a shift to restore nature

Tomorrow, Theresa May will deliver a major speech on the environment, it will be the first keynote environment speech delivered by a British prime minister since Tony Blair did so in 2000. David Cameron might have hugged huskies in the Arctic but, in practice, the environment as a whole was not a top priority for him (although he did address

Let’s banish the ghosts of the past and do better on waste in future

Nearly 175 years ago, Charles Dickens ‘invented’ the modern holiday of Christmas through A Christmas Carol, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from miser to the embodiment of festive generosity. The story has been credited with cementing in place many of the traditions we continue to observe to this day, including holding a family feast of seasonal food and drink.

How much do we care about owning the products we use?

Recent research has shown that the number of people who own their own homes is at a 30 year low and, with growing anxiety about young people being unable to get on the property ladder, the government has started to act. In the budget, Philip Hammond aimed to revive “the dream of home ownership” by abolishing the stamp duty for

Five expert insights on Brexit and energy

On 13 November, we invited the EU’s former director general of DG Energy, Sir Philip Lowe, to speak to a small specialist audience about the likely impacts of Brexit on energy and climate policy. Sir Philip, who was in post from 2010 to 2014, is well qualified to comment: he has deep expertise across key EU institutions and is currently

Handmade Gifts from Etsy That Are Eco Friendly Too

A gift guide of handmade gifts from Etsy including home goods, jewelry & accessories, beauty…Read the whole entry… » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

#Budget2017: From green to grey in 6 weeks

In British politics, governing is as much performance art as it is accounting. Even ‘Fiscal Phil’, that most studious scrutiniser of the spreadsheet knows this. Perhaps this is why his green headlines ahead of the budget were about a single use plastics tax, a clampdown on dirty diesels and a push on EVs. These followed a green October, with Michael

This parliamentary debate was a significant moment for the UK’s environment

It’s so often the case that environmental issues are overlooked in parliament, squeezed in time and overshadowed by other priorities. But last night saw something rather special: three hours of uninterrupted parliamentary debate on the environment in which politicians from all parties were competing to speak and make and seek commitments about future environmental protection. In advance of the debate

Why weren’t there more women at the climate talks?

“Could you elaborate on how women can access the respective climate funds that your organisations manage?” It was a straightforward question from a Togolese woman after a panel discussion on climate finance for small island developing states, hosted on the sidelines of last week’s UN climate conference (COP23) in Bonn. The all-male panel, consisting of representatives of finance organisations and

Aromatherapy Bracelets to Change Your Mood On-the-Go {Giveaway!}

Aromatherapy Bracelets carry the scent of essential oils, so you can experience the mood changing…Read the whole entry… » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Conservatives need new climate policies to attract young voters

This post is by Sam Hall, senior research fellow at Bright Blue One of the most striking features of the government’s recently published Clean growth strategy is its unashamed embrace of the political and economic opportunity of decarbonisation. The opening pages praise the UK’s world-leading record on climate action: since 1990, the UK has cut its greenhouse gas emissions faster,

Let’s use the digital revolution for resource efficiency to raise UK productivity

This post is by Angela Francis, chief economist at Green Alliance, and Caterina Brandmayr, policy analyst at Green Alliance. UK productivity hasn’t grown for nine years. Investment in digitalisation, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, is one way to kickstart the economy and end economic stagnation. That is why we contributed to Made

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

As 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

What will happen to UK chemicals policy post-Brexit?

This is an extract from a presentation given by Nigel Haigh, honorary fellow and former director of IEEP, to a recent conference ‘Post-Brexit options for UK chemicals law’, organised by Chemical Watch, techUK and CHEM Trust. A version of this piece was first posted on the Brexit & Environment blog. As a way of understanding the challenges Brexit poses in

What Heidegger and astronauts tell us about the 25 year environment plan

This article was originally published on WWT’s website. Here’s an idea (which I’ve borrowed from the German philosopher, Heidegger): nature challenges us. History shows us that we humans have devised, over the centuries, more and more ingenious technologies, which have enabled us to live longer, more interesting lives. In doing so, we have challenged nature, transforming it to meet our

Does the Clean Growth Strategy live up to the hype?

The journey of the government’s decarbonisation strategy, announced today, is a key to how it should be read: it started as the carbon plan, was downgraded to a compliance-focused emissions reduction plan, then transformed into a clean growth plan to match a shift in how government now sees green growth and, at the last moment, it has metamorphosed into the

Will we get an industrial strategy for the 2050s or the 1950s?

In 2014, Dunlop Systems and Components relocated from a leaky old factory in Holbrook to a highly efficient new factory in 2014.  At the same time the company fundamentally redesigned the high pressure steam processes used in making its air suspension components, saving the business 67 per cent on energy and 38 per cent on water use.  This strategic approach

Will the UK’s 25 year environment plan set its sights higher than Europe?

This post is by Richard Benwell, head of government affairs at WWT. The government has promised legal continuity on ‘Brexit Day’ but, as it stands, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill would fail to achieve equivalence in environmental protection. As a result, the focus of campaigning on the bill has been on achieving continuity. But it would be a tragedy if the environmental

Three things you should know about the Natural Capital Committee’s advice on the 25 year plan for the environment

The government has not lacked advice as to what should go in its long promised 25 year plan for the environment. Most of it has ended up as white noise but, finally, and with surprisingly little fanfare, we have something of significance: the official advice to government of the Natural Capital Committee (NCC). It’s significant because, first, Michael Gove asked

Why a circular economy is good for jobs and growth

This post is by Marcus Gover, chief executive of WRAP, a longstanding member of Green Alliance’s Circular Economy Task Force, which works with leading businesses to develop practical ways to make the circular economy happen. I often find myself explaining to people what the circular economy is not. People commonly think that it’s another way of talking about recycling, that

Brexit: time to get serious

One 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. “I said that

Conference diary: hovering in anticipation

The overwhelming atmosphere at Conservative Party conference this week was one of anticipation. Throughout the fringe events and the hotel bars, even in the main hall, a sense that something big was about to happen seemed to pervade everything. This wasn’t helped by Boris Johnson who, last weekend, set out his ‘red lines’ on Brexit and commented on domestic policy.