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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November 27th, 2015

Something in the air? The Autumn Statement and pollution

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by Dominic Hogg

 

Wednesday’s joint spending review and Autumn statement (SRAS) ought to give us some insight into the George Osborne’s thinking about the current and future state of the economy, and his priorities for how it should be managed. So what environmental and other implications can we infer from the document and the decisions within it?

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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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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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February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power

by Peter Jones

 

“If you want to get anywhere in politics, you’ve got to be good at pushing on open doors. If you can’t resist pushing on closed ones, then you ought to have chosen another job.” That rather bleak assessment of the extent of ministerial power comes from C.P. Snow’s novel Corridors of Power, in which the lead characters try (and fail) to tip the balance against 1950s Britain seeking an independent nuclear deterrent.

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December 12th, 2014

Buyer beware: using procurement to root out waste crime

by Peter Jones

 

Waste crime has perhaps been the big resources sector issue to come to the forefront in 2014. It’s certainly the only aspect of waste that received a particular mention in the Chancellor’s budget – not even Landfill Tax managed that – and has also been given prominence by Radio 4’s File on 4 series. That’s all good profile, and the £5m that George Osborne found to tackle this criminality is no doubt being put to good use by the Environment Agency.

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April 17th, 2014

Let’s make community energy EIS-y

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by Jonathan Johns

 

Nobody could have mistaken Budget 2014 for the greenest budget ever. A few of the disappointments for those interested in promoting green energy were headline news, but others have taken a little time to emerge. For example, in the Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates document published alongside the budget, paragraph 1.59 stated:

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