Why does Michael Gove want to treat farmers and water companies differently?

Michael Gove was in pugnacious form in his address to last week’s annual Water UK City Conference. Pulling no punches, his subjects included water company abuse of monopoly power, the use of offshore companies and complex financial engineering, and the privileging of shareholders at the expense of the UK’s billpayers, taxpayers and the environment. It would be no surprise if,

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

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

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

The government’s 25 year plan should mobilise private funding for environmental restoration

Since the EU referendum, there has been growing pressure for clarity over two things. First, how an independent UK will protect its natural environment, and, second, how we will pay for it, as most of the legislation that currently directs these areas comes from the EU. Very soon, the government will be laying down the first major marker for its

Grimsby shows how offshore wind is supporting jobs and growth

The offshore wind sector is playing an increasingly important role in providing jobs and economic growth along Britain’s North Sea coast. More than one in ten people live in coastal communities, reflecting the UK’s maritime tradition and the historic importance … Continue reading →