Conference diary: policy ideas are more than a simple chant

“My MP is a shepherdess. What can I do to get her to ensure the Withdrawal Bill protects the environment?” Not the most obvious question you expect a panel to be asked at a Labour fringe event, but one that was indicative of the new energy that permeated through this year’s conference in Brighton. Everywhere you looked there were new

How UK tech leadership can enable a revolution in resource efficiency

A version of this article was published on Business Green. The forthcoming industrial strategy white paper will set out the government’s plan to boost productivity and drive growth across the economy. If it is to be a success, it needs to grapple with two fundamental changes to the business environment. First, it will have to address the transition towards a

What Dieter Helm’s review and the industrial strategy might miss

Not all of the ten ‘pillars’ of the industrial strategy green paper will make it into the white paper expected by the end of this year.  Civil servants working on the final strategy say the innovation, skills, place, business and infrastructure pillars are the ones likely to remain and the content of the affordable energy and clean growth pillar will

Homemade Makeup Remover That’s Actually Good For Your Skin

Unlike most brands, this easy homemade makeup remover is both cleansing and nourishing to your skin. The reasons for making homemade beauty products are different for everyone. For some, it’s because we want to control the ingredients and make a super simple non-toxic beauty product that isn’t available in stores. » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

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

I’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

What will Brexit mean for the UK’s trade in electricity with Europe?

This post is by Jonathan Bosch, research postgraduate at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. The internal electricity market (IEM) is one of the major achievements of the European single market, allowing electricity to be traded and transmitted seamlessly across national borders. The UK has played a crucial role in the IEM’s development,

Who’s afraid of the ECJ? Let’s debate environmental governance

This post is by Prof Andrew Jordan and Dr Viviane Gravey, co-chairs of the Brexit and Environment network of academic experts, co-funded by the ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe Initiative. Among the many proposals in Michael Gove’s thoughtful speech on the environment, one received less attention that we think it deserved.  It was his invitation to debate how the UK

How Michael Gove can unleash a new wave of farming entrepreneurs

For farmers, change is a way of life. Weather is unpredictable. Consumer appetites change. Prices go up and down. Managing uncertainty and volatility goes with the job. But the ability of farmers to keep bouncing back will soon be tested to its limits, and possibly beyond. Brexit will bring change of a scale and at a speed that will dwarf

We need the Clean Growth Plan to avoid an epic fail on climate change

Credit where credit’s due, the UK has shown strong leadership in tackling climate change. We were the first major economy to commit to phasing out coal fired power and we’ve set ambitious, legally binding carbon budgets up to 2032. We’ve also made strong progress towards meeting these carbon targets, having achieved our 2020 target five years early in 2015. At

Why we need to look beyond subsidies to save UK farming

UK farming is in crisis. Forty per cent of farms make no profit. Farm debt is soaring. Farmers are taking home an ever decreasing share of what we spend on food and, over the long term, food prices have been dropping. Many farmers are stuck in a cycle of working the land ever harder just to break even. This is

Why the UK should stick with the EU’s world leading chemical protections

This post is by Andrea Speranza, Brexit campaigner at CHEM Trust. Like everyone, I receive a lot of receipts each week. I drop them dismissively into my bag. When I tidy up at the start of the week, I notice how many there are and, until recently, the only risk I

Why home energy improvements are a natural fit for conservative values

This post is by Sam Hall, senior researcher at Bright Blue and author of Green conservatives? Understanding what conservatives think about the environment From the great housebuilding programme of Harold MacMillan in the 1950s to Anthony Eden’s and Margaret Thatcher’s championing of a property owning democracy, conservatives intuitively value the home. It embodies and animates central conservative ideas of personal

How plastic bags helped us grasp the bigger picture

This post is by Dr Colin Church, CEO of CIWM, the leading institution for resources and waste management, and the chair of the Circular Economy Task Force. In the resource management sector, when a group of ‘strategic colleagues’ meets up, one of the conversations I’ve often heard around the table is a lament as to why politicians and the media are so

Three simple ways European product design can help eliminate poverty abroad

This post is by Richard Gower, senior associate for economics and policy at Tearfund. This post first appeared on Tearfund’s policy blog. In poor nations, millions of people already make their living from ‘circular’ trades such as repair and recycling. The way we design our products in the EU – the toxic chemicals we permit and the ease of repair

Why the UK could soon face recycling chaos

In 2013, China sent shock waves through the recycling world in the west by launching Operation Green Fence, a campaign that rejected at least 800,000 tonnes of substandard recyclable waste imports and withdrew 247 import licenses. This focused minds in the UK, because we have grown dependent on exports of low quality recyclate, which our producer responsibility system accidentally encourages.

The Best Reusable Lunch Containers For All Your Individual Needs

Non-toxic, reusable lunch containers to meet the needs of everyone in the family. Got a picky child who doesn’t like different foods to touch? Is plastic-free is your thing because it’s safer and better for the planet? Want something lightweight because you’re toting it all around town? Reusable Lunch Containers –…Read the whole entry… » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

How to get the best possible outcome from Brexit on energy and climate

This post first appeared on BusinessGreen. At 11am, on 14 July 2017, eight per cent of UK’s total electricity demand was generated by offshore wind, more than any other country in the world. Proactive policy and industrial innovation have crafted the UK’s success story on offshore wind but another significant part of the story has been the lending from the European

Easy Chai Spiced Almond Butter for the Win!

This Chai Spiced Almond Butter recipe is easy to make out of only a few healthy ingredients but tastes like expensive store-bought almond butter. Back when I worked in marketing for a large food company, we used classifications for different types of home cooks to help us understand how to sell stuff to them. There were the traditional types (meat…Read the whole entry… » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Top five messages from the Committee on Climate Change’s latest report

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned in its latest annual progress report that the UK is significantly behind its 2030 targets to reduce carbon emissions and, without additional policy and new strategies, we will fail to meet our legally binding commitments. Here are five highlights worth drawing out from the report: 1. Progress has been far too slow

Will the Withdrawal Bill work for the environment?

Though the triggering of Article 50 occurred just over 100 days ago, it has felt like the Great Repeal Bill has been coming for a lot longer. And this is the first big change we will have to make: the Great Repeal Bill is no more. As it passes through parliament it will now be known as the European Union

Greener UK is tracking Brexit risks so you don’t have to

This post is by Gemma Wells, RSPB’s Brexit project officer. It’s been a tumultuous time in UK politics since we voted to leave the EU a year ago. The overriding mood of the year has been uncertainty which has permeated all sectors, not least the environmental sector. Since the majority of the

With bold environmental ideas we can make the most of a hung parliament

This post is by Richard Benwell, head of government affairs at WWT. A hung parliament, with a packed legislative agenda, blank slate of policy and limited time on the Brexit countdown clock: these are good conditions for great environmental accomplishments. Without a commanding majority, the government will need to search for areas of political unity to build political capital, like

Trump’s misguided decision: a view from the US

Following Donald Trump’s announcement to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Green Alliance is publishing a series of blog posts from different voices in response. This post is by Vrinda Manglik, campaign representative with the Sierra Club’s International Climate and Energy campaign. Thursday 1 June was a rough day for the US climate movement. Even though we