August 19th, 2016

Full BREEAM ahead: raising the BAR on low carbon building

Land Rover BAR base 2

by Quentin Scott

 

It’s a sad fact that there has been more bad news than good on sustainable building in the UK in recent times. After the scrapping of the Green Deal without replacement, the unexpected reversal of the Zero Carbon Homes policy and the defeat of efforts to reintroduce building standards through the Housing and Planning Act this year, there’s been little to cheer for those interested in improving the carbon efficiency of our built environment.

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August 12th, 2016

Turning up the heat on energy strategy

Pilot Light

by Adam Baddeley and Rob Reid

 

Although heating accounts for almost 50% of UK total energy consumption, it remains strangely absent from the renewable energy debate. Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd brought it up last November, but only as a begrudging admission that slow progress was putting us way off track to meet 2020’s 15% Renewable Energy Directive (RED) target. Yet just a week later, Rudd’s ‘policy reset’ speech contained no major goals on renewable heat – instead, it signalled renewed support for gas to replace coal-fired electricity generation backed by streamlined regulatory and consenting requirements for hydraulic fracturing.

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August 5th, 2016

Parking restrictions? Undervaluing green space in the UK

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by Ayesha Bapasola

 

It’s rare that a parish council decision causes an outcry that permeates the upper echelons of Westminster. However, Stoke Gifford Parish council in South Gloucestershire hit the headlines when it voted to charge Parkrun for the use of Little Stoke Park early this spring. The council has stuck to its guns, though, and continues to do so, even after securing £750,000 to upgrade facilities at the park and ‘increase sports participation for the local community’.

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July 29th, 2016

Ought we to protect the environment?

Aristotle Ethics Book Cover

by Peter Jones

 

Can we say that we ought to protect the environment? Is there a moral obligation on us to do so? In other words, is environmentalism a branch of ethics?

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July 22nd, 2016

Pick-up point: where should we target litter clean up?

Marine_Litter_Crisis

by Chiarina Darrah

 

Isonomia has been covering questions around both marine and land-based litter for some time. To judge by recent press coverage, one of these is really interesting right now, and the other isn’t; the first being the domain of surfers and cool outdoorsy people and the second of the curtain twitching neighbour.

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July 15th, 2016

Losing ground: the decline of England’s landfills

Closed Sign CROP

by Chris Cullen

 

To hear many waste commentators talk, one would think that a huge proportion of the nation’s waste is still being sent to landfill. For example, as recently discussed on Isonomia, it is not uncommon to hear calls for landfill bans for specific materials, as if this would automatically entail that they were recycled, and we are frequently told of the benefits of getting waste ‘out of landfill’.

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July 1st, 2016

Taking stocks: is Brexit possible for UK fisheries?

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by Thomas Appleby

 

Britain’s legal bilateral arrangements with its neighbours on fishing rights date back to the middle ages. Yet many fishermen have broken with this international tradition and voted to leave the EU on the basis that Brexit will result in greater fishing rights for British vessels. However, while a vote can be cast in a moment, unpicking 40 years of highly technical regulation could tie British and EU civil servants in knots for far longer than anyone might imagine.

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