September 8th, 2017

The inconvenient truth about convenience

by Dominic Hogg

 

I recently chaired a session alongside the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York. It was the first time I’d been to the United Nations Headquarters, and the array of speakers, the diversity of representation and the passion for the subject was impressive.

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May 10th, 2017

Air cover: politics and the air quality plan

by Dominic Hogg

 

The Government finally published its long awaited revised air quality plan, albeit in draft form, last Friday. Many have expressed disappointment with its lack of ambition, but less has been written about the signs of some key last minute ‘tweaks’. The apparent aim of the late changes was to minimise the risk of a potential political backlash against the plan from angry diesel drivers – but their effect could well be to delay the effective action on air quality that is so urgently needed.

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February 10th, 2017

The environment and ‘the elite’

by Dominic Hogg

 

Everything today, it seems, is being viewed through the polarising language of ‘Brexit’ – even the environment. Those of us who have been engaged in environmentalism for many years need to recognise the sudden and dangerous change that is taking place in the way the issues we care about are being talked about, and the need to counter the new and misleading narrative that is appearing in politics.

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December 2nd, 2016

The ups and downs of landfill data

by Dominic Hogg

 

There’s a hackneyed phrase that people often come out with when they are looking for improved data: ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. Waste management strikes me as the perfect counter example: for anything other than waste collected by local authorities, the quality of the UK’s waste data is generally of terrible quality. Does that really mean we don’t know a thing about how waste should be managed?

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June 22nd, 2016

Unknown environment? Brexit certainties and uncertainties

by Dominic Hogg

 

Much has been written in recent weeks – tomes, in fact – regarding the EU membership referendum decision that faces UK citizens. Each day, we are drip-fed new opinion, and new faces come to the fore in the media, swearing their allegiance to one or other side. Just occasionally, a little piece of actual evidence surfaces – although few of these appear to be lodging in voters’ minds.

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April 8th, 2016

The sweet hereafter: implications of the UK’s sugar tax

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by Dominic Hogg and Luke Dale-Harris

 

The proposal for a Soft Drinks Industry Levy to start in 2018 was an eye-catching announcement in the midst of an otherwise disappointing Budget last month – the sugar-free icing on a particularly grim cake. But it didn’t take long before the fizzy drinks industry was up and fighting the ‘sugar tax’, threatening legal action against the government for damaging their corner of the market.

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February 19th, 2016

Does waste have a future?

By Dominic Hogg and Mark Hilton

 

When the institutional economist Thorstein Veblen coined the phrase ‘conspicuous consumption’ in the late nineteenth century, it was as a caustic term saved for the very rich. In particular, it referred to the glittering socialites born of the Industrial Revolution, who Veblen saw as wanting and wasting in equal measure.

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