How a bit of community magic can bring Defra’s 25 year plan to life

This post is by Richard Benwell, head of government affairs at WWT. Defra’s 25 year environment plan names 2019 as ‘a year of green action’, helping people to participate in improving our natural world. It’s easy to be cynical about government reliance on community action. Surely it’s a way to hive out responsibility to the ‘big society’?  Certainly, social initiatives sometimes

Will degradable plastics really prevent marine pollution?

In our world of instant gratification, plastic has proved incredibly useful, allowing food and drink to be conveniently packaged and transported for consumption on the go, immediately satisfying our most basic of human needs. Unfortunately, if it is not handled correctly after its brief use, plastic can cause serious environmental problems, as hauntingly documented by Blue Planet II. People are

Why increasing young people’s access to nature makes electoral sense

It isn’t often that government is presented with an opportunity to seduce environmentalists, young people and mental health campaigners in one fell swoop. It’s even more unheard of that they could do it cheaply. So it’s no surprise that the evidence linking access to nature with positive mental health outcomes is gaining currency among policy makers. But to exploit this

How accountable will the government really be on the environment after Brexit?

This post is by Lewis Lloyd of the Institute for Government. The government has promised to end the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the UK after Brexit, renouncing the oversight of the European Commission and the court as part of ‘taking back control’. But it is unclear how far the UK’s domestic governance structures will

There’s a danger UK nations will all go their own way on environment post-Brexit

This post is by Donal McCarthy, senior policy officer at the RSPB and co-ordinator of the Greener UK ‘Brexit and Devolution’ working group. From the coverage surrounding the launch of the UK government’s long awaited 25 year environment plan last week, one could easily have been forgiven for thinking it set out a long term strategy for restoring nature across

Key points from the Committee on Climate Change’s report the Clean Growth Strategy

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today published its analysis of the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), the government’s blueprint for meeting the targets it is legally bound to achieve under the Climate Change Act. The analysis highlights a worrying gap (of 10-65 MTCO2e) between the government’s existing policies and commitments and the requirements set under the fourth and fifth carbon

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