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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January 6th, 2017

What’s behind the rise in three-weekly rubbish collections?

by Peter Jones

 

Three-weekly residual waste collections are on the rise, but remain highly controversial. Their introduction has been heralded by stories of over-spilling bins, growing populations of rats, and people buying “top-up” collections from opportunist private bin companies – in fact, all of the same ill-founded fears that were raised about fortnightly collections.

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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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May 13th, 2016

United in life and death: Maurice Strong and Mostafa Tolba

by Steve Watson

 

Within the past six months, the environmental community – and for that matter the planet – has lost two of its most influential champions. Maurice Strong, who passed away in November 2015, and Mostafa Tolba, who died this March, were both active on the world stage in the earliest days of the environmental movement as key figures in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

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July 24th, 2015

Exchequered past: George Osborne and green taxes

by Dominic Hogg

 

George Osborne’s July Budget was widely seen as his first opportunity to fully reflect the perspective of the Conservative Party in fiscal policy. The trailers to his speech made it quite clear that the Chancellor would break with the coalition’s approach on environmental taxation. So did the July Budget represent a disastrous departure from green taxation?

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July 3rd, 2015

Taking the wind out of electricity sales

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by Chloe Bines and Adam Baddeley

 

The new Conservative Government has wasted no time in implementing its manifesto pledge to end subsidies for onshore wind. Just six weeks into her tenure as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd announced that the Renewable Obligation (RO) would close a year early for onshore wind projects and strongly hinted that action would also be taken to curtail support for the technology under both the small-scale Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme for larger scale projects. Meanwhile, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, was busy announcing new planning considerations that will make it significantly harder for onshore wind projects to gain planning consent.

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