July 14th, 2017

No-fly zone: is low carbon travel worth the effort?

by Sarah Ettlinger

 

I last set foot on an aeroplane in 2015, for a Copenhagen-London round trip. The time before that was the same journey in 2008. Yet during this time I have split my time between Denmark and the UK for reasons of work, study and family, and thus still chosen to travel a lot. These days, my ‘commute’ is to the UK from my base in Copenhagen once each quarter.

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December 4th, 2015

COP 21: what wood George Perkins Marsh do?

by Sophie Harvey-Franklin

 

This week, delegates from 195 countries are coming together in Paris to discuss a global approach to tackling climate change. It’s the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (or COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and after the disappointingly scant results of previous meetings, this time there are some more encouraging signs.

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November 13th, 2015

Look, no hands: tackling air pollution and climate change

by Dominic Hogg

 

If there is a silver lining around the breath-constricting cloud that hangs over Volkswagen (and, perhaps, other manufacturers of diesel vehicles as well), it’s that the publicity raises awareness of the damages caused by air pollution. While a cadre of politicians and journalists strive to maintain the impression that there’s a debate to be had on the science of climate change, there’s far less dissent from the view that air pollution brings a trail of misery, and even death, in its wake.

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March 19th, 2014

Incineration: let’s get fiscal

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by Dominic Hogg

 

If you are serious about encouraging waste prevention, eco-design, re-use, remanufacture and high recycling rates, then it helps if you stop people throwing stuff away for peanuts. A high price on residual waste management is not a panacea; and it isn’t impossible to achieve good results in its absence. However, the decline in recycling rates in Germany as incinerator gate fees have bombed is testament to the fact that, whatever other regulations you have in place, at some point the economic imperative begins to bite: make chucking stuff away cheap, and it will kill off better alternatives.

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August 30th, 2013

Playing chicken with the climate: why environmentalists should go veggie

by Francis Vergunst

 

You’ve heard it from the Greens, you’ve heard it from your friends, you’ve probably even heard it from your grandma… and now you’re hearing it from the government too. What’s the big deal? Do we really need to eat less meat – or none at all? I would argue that becoming vegetarian could be the most effective action you take against climate change. Consider the following.

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August 2nd, 2013

Malta-ed perceptions

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by Adrian Gibbs

 

When visiting an old city with a rich and troubled past it is hard not to get swept up in the grand, complex and often frightening history that has shaped the landscape, culture and administration. Fortunately, most guidebooks include an abridged history to introduce the grand names and great episodes of the past. It is, however, less easy to find a chronicle of a country’s waste management systems. This is perhaps a shame, as the same forces of self-interest, random chance, ‘good ideas at the time’ and inertia can surely be seen at play in the establishment of institutional waste systems as in the formation of cultural, political and architectural norms.

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March 27th, 2013

A tale of two escalators

Westminster Escalator

by Peter Jones

 

The Budget last week offered little to excite the environmentally minded, as George Osborne produced no new green measures from his battered red box. One of the main talking points in the waste sector has been the absence of any clarification of what will happen to Landfill Tax after it reaches £80 in 2014/15. The Green Alliance advocates further increases, but the Environmental Services Association and various local authority representatives are looking for the escalator to stop. At the same time, the planned fuel escalator increase for September 2013 was cancelled.

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