Green Policy

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The race for No 10 is well and truly underway - but which of the candidates are green leaders, and which are climate laggards? 

Conservative Party leadership: What are the final 10's records on environmental policy?

With the first ballot to determine the next leader of the Conservative Party taking place today (13 July), edie rounds up the environmental legacies and visions of each of the final 10 contenders in the race for No 10.

The announcement follows months of climate protests by students and groups such as Extinction Rebellion - but what happens next? 

The UK Government's net-zero commitment: What happens next?

A statutory instrument to amend the Climate Change Act of 2008 to account for a net-zero target by 2050 will be laid in Parliament today (12 June), marking a first among the G7 nations. But what, exactly, happens next?

The changes to the Climate Change Act will be laid in Parliament today 

'Hugely important for business': Green economy reacts to UK's net-zero target for 2050

Green leaders have come out in force to praise Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to amend the Climate Change Act of 2008 to account for a net-zero target by 2050 - and urged Ministers to detail how they plan to reach this long-term goal as soon as possible.

The Climate Change Act will now be amended to account for net-zero emissions by 2050

Prime Minister agrees legally binding net-zero emissions target for 2050

In one of her last acts as Prime Minister, Theresa May has confirmed that Parliament will implement the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change, creating a legally binding net-zero carbon target for 2050.

Pictured: The Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff Bay.

Wales accepts CCC's 95% emissions reduction target

Plans for a 95% emissions reduction for Wales, proposed by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) as part of its recommendations on creating a net-zero economy in the UK by 2050, have been accepted by the Welsh Government.

SEG places a legal obligation onto energy suppliers that have more than 150,000 customers and therefore covers 90% of the retail market

UK Government's Smart Export Guarantee to stabilise small-scale renewables market

The Government's replacement initiative for the Feed-in Tariff (FiTs) scheme for residential and business-owned solar has been introduced today (10 June), ensuring that users will be paid for electricity they send to the grid.

The six-month inquiry began last December 

MPs call for halt on support for fossil fuels in developing nations

Of the £2.6bn which the UK's export credit agency spent supporting energy exports abroad between 2013 and 2018, 96% was funnelled into fossil fuel projects, mostly in developing nations.

Michael Bloomberg has a long history of championing decarbonisation and environmental conservation through finance.

Michael Bloomberg announces $500m campaign to end US coal generation

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg has announced a $500m investment aimed at fighting climate change by ending coal-fired electricity generation in the US. 

The strategy was launched by MPs Steve Double (centre) and Geraint Davies (left)

Plastic pollution and global heating: Cross-party MPs unveil new strategy for ocean conservation

A coalition of MPs hailing from across the political spectrum have launched a new strategy detailing key policy actions they will take to champion ocean conservation, shortly after the Government's Marine Strategy was branded a "spectacular failure" by green groups.

The CCC's advice on legislating for net-zero by 2050, requested by the Government after the IPCC report last autumn, was published on 2 May

Parliament to debate bill committing UK to net-zero by 2050

A bill which would commit the UK Government to reducing national carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 will be put to Parliament next Tuesday (11 June), the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee has confirmed today (7 June)

The budget proposals were unveiled on Wednesday (5 June)

Climate becomes top priority in EU's 2020 budget

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday (5 June) a budget worth €168.3bn for the bloc in 2020, aimed at promoting a more competitive European economy and solidarity and security in the EU. This is the last budget under the 2014-2020 fiscal period and put climate change at the top of the agenda.

The fifth episode in this six-part series explores how Brexit will affect the policy and business spheres' approach to decarbonising transport systems

The Big Brexit Questions podcast: What next for low-carbon transport in the UK?

With Theresa May set to step down as Prime Minister this week after failing to pass her Withdrawal Agreement, edie's new podcast mini-series explores the impact of Brexit on key areas of the UK's green economy. Up next: Low-carbon transport. 

The Committee will examine the role of finance in meeting the UK's fourth and fifth carbon budgets

MPs examine how Treasury and finance sector can help decarbonise UK economy

MPs on the Treasury Committee have launched an inquiry scrutinising the climate impacts of the Treasury and the financial services sector, with the aim of determining how these actors can change their ways in order to spur decarbonisation progress ahead of the fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

The has UK comfortably remained under its carbon budgets to date, but is off track to meeting the more demanding fourth and fifth rounds

Government defies CCC's carbon budget surplus advice

The cabinet has reportedly defied its own climate change adviser by carrying forward emission reductions, which have already taken place, into its future carbon budgets.

According to the REA, technologies such as modern biomass boilers, biofuels and anaerobic digestion can create an affordable means to provide instant carbon reductions

Bioenergy a 'no regrets solution' to reaching net-zero, report says

Increasing the deployment of bioenergy renewable sources by more than 10% would enable the UK to affordably meet future carbon budgets while also overcoming an "impending nuclear gap", a new report from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has found.

Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories, and click the links below to read them for yourself

Climate action, net-zero advice and edie Live: Top 10 sustainability stories of May 2019

As May draws to a close, we take a look back at May's biggest sustainability and energy stories. The round-up includes Theresa May's resignation, Unilever's black plastic strategy and all the key takeaways from edie Live 2019.

The Government received its requested advice on legislating for net-zero carbon at the start of May, but is yet to make a formal decision on enshrining it in national law 

UK business giants put fresh pressure on government over net-zero

BT, Coca-Cola European Partners and Sainsbury's are among a coalition of 128 UK-based businesses, industry networks and investors to have written to Ministers demanding that a net-zero target for 2050 is legislated "immediately".

Conservationists say the protection will contribute to the stopping of marine-damaging activities

UK creates 'blue belt' of marine protected areas twice England's size

An area nearly twice the size of England will become a "blue belt" of protected waters after the government created 41 new marine conservation zones.

DFID currently has a £1.1bn annual budget for foreign climate initiatives

UK 'to double' aid support for climate challenges in developing nations

The UK's International Development Secretary Rory Stewart has revealed plans to double the amount of foreign aid spent on climate-related projects to over the next five years.

Nuclear generation is estimated to account for 10% of the global energy mix

IEA: Developed nations should support nuclear to reach climate goals

Governments across North America, Europe and Asia are phasing out nuclear at a faster pace than they are increasing their respective renewable energy capacities, and therefore running the risk of reversing the low-carbon power transition.

The finalised version of the Act is due to be published before Parliament's summer recess, after the draft Bill was published last December 

Five-year plans and non-regression clauses: IEMA lays out demands for Environment Act

Green economy body IEMA has today (28 May) published a list of assurances it wants the UK Government to offer through its New Environment Act, in order to "put sustainability at the heart" of the national economic model.

In Britain, the Greens reached 12.4%, nearly double their previous score, and beating the ruling Conservatives

Green wave surges across European elections

The mobilisation of young people for climate change is accompanied by a growing sense of urgency, which was reflected at the ballot boxes in several European countries on Sunday (26 May). EURACTIV France reports.

Talking net-zero with Julia Barrett and Simon Graham

edie's Mission Possible sofa chat show returns for 2019. In the second episode, edie discusses net-zero with Julia Barrett, director of sustainability, Re-Thinking at Willmott Dixon and Simon Graham, head of innovation at De Courcy Alexander.

The past three years have seen climate change and plastics sky-rocket up the UK's policy agenda. Photo Flickr EU2017EE Estonian Presidency

Theresa May's green policy legacy: Environmental leader or lukewarm laggard?

After weeks of calls to resign from all sides of the House, Theresa May has today (24 May) confirmed that she will step down as Prime Minister next month after three years in power, opening the race for the next Conservative Party leader. Amid tabloid claims that her legacy will be solely based on failing to deliver Brexit, edie instead explores her impact on green policy.

Friends of the Earth argue that electrification alone is not enough, and that changes to consumer behaviour and new planning mechanisms to prepare for all forms of low-carbon mobility must now be implemented

UK's Department for Transport "side-lining" climate change, campaigners claim

The UK's Department for Transport (DfT) is "going rogue" on climate change issues by "side-lining" emissions reductions in its strategies and projects, Friends of the Earth has claimed.

Talking Clean Growth with Frank Aaskov, Ben Golding and Shamit Gaiger

edie's Mission Possible sofa chat show returns for 2019. In the first episode of this series, edie discusses clean growth with Ben Golding, director of energy efficiency - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Make UK's senior energy, climate and environment policy advisor Frank Aaskov and AECOM's director of strategic advisory Shamit Gaiger.

The items will be banned from sale next April

Plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers to be banned in England

Plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned from sale and use in England from next April, the UK Government has confirmed.

Subsidies to restore woodlands and meadows would also boost wildlife, says Rewilding Britain

Rewild a quarter of UK to fight climate crisis, campaigners urge

A quarter of the UK's land could be restored to nature, making a significant contribution towards cutting the nation's carbon emissions to zero, under a new rewilding proposal.

<p>Some developers have already voluntarily adopted a net-gain approach to biodiversity, but the Government looks set to mandate it by law. Image: Berkley Group</p>

Natural Capital Committee: Biodiversity net-gain must not rely on offsetting

The UK Government's independent advisor on natural capital has criticised proposals put forward by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) that would require developers to pay for biodiversity offsets in other regions if their projects result in habitat loss.

<p>Under the plans, an incoming Labour government would fund the installation of rooftop solar on 1 million social homes and 750,000 properties with low-income owners or tennants</p>

Bringing Energy Home: Labour unveils plans for solar homes and grid renationalisation

The Labour Party has unveiled fresh plans concerning how it will decarbonise and democratise energy in the UK, with headline ambitions of renationalising the National Grid and installing solar panels on 1.75 million homes.

<p>Pictured: Norfolk's Race Bank wind farm was commissioned last year and is capable of generating 573MW of renewable energy</p>

Government backing for offshore wind keeps UK's renewable energy attractiveness afloat

The UK has maintained its top-ten position in a ranking of the world's most attractive renewable energy markets for investors, largely due to the Government's recent assertation that offshore wind power will provide a third of the nation's electricity by 2030.

The NIC is calling on the Treasury to devolve £43bn to cities for transport improvements by 2030

NIC: Treasury must commit to 'major' infrastructure upgrades on path to net-zero

The National Infrastructure Commission's (NIC) chairman Sir John Armitt has called on Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to make a "genuine commitment to change" through the upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy, in order to spur the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

The US reportedly opposed deal, which follows concerns that villages in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia have ‘turned into dumpsites’

Nearly all countries agree to stem flow of plastic waste into poor nations

Almost all the world's countries have agreed on a deal aimed at restricting shipments of hard-to-recycle plastic waste to poorer countries, the United Nations (UN) announced on Friday.

The current 2030 goal is a 40% emissions reduction, but some EU nations have called for a longer-term net-zero target to be legislated for 2050. Image: euranet_plus Flickr

Juncker insists 2030 climate target is EU's top priority, not 2050 'net-zero' plan

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that the EU should "concentrate on immediate and urgent" climate policies for 2030 rather than a proposed 2050 target defended by eight EU countries to reach net-zero emissions.

The ocean emergency has grown as a decline in biodiversity, warming and plastic pollution has impacted their health

'Spectacular failure': Green groups respond to government's Marine Strategy

Conservation and environmental lobby groups have heavily criticised the government's revised UK Marine Strategy, saying that politicians need to radically revise their plans to tackle the growing emergency.

PET bottles with a 50ml-3l capacity will be subject to a deposit fee under the system

Scottish Government unveils 20p deposit return scheme for plastic bottles

The Scottish Government has revealed the results of its consultation on implementing a national deposit return scheme for drinks packaging, confirming that it will introduce a 20p deposit fee for all PET and glass bottles as well as aluminium and steel cans.

The Government's existing green targets were set in 2016 and will expire in 2020

MPs to scrutinise the UK Government's internal sustainability progress

As Ministers consider legislating for the adoption of a net-zero carbon target for 2050, a group of MPs are set to investigate the UK Government's internal sustainability targets and progress.

The evidence session was the first to discuss the CCC's net-zero advice, with Energy Minister Claire Perry set to take part in a future meeting

CCC boss: Net-zero before 2050 would be 'very risky' for UK economy

The Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) chief executive Chris Stark has defended the body's decision not to advise the Government on pathways which could create a net-zero carbon economy before 2050, arguing that doing so would be "very risky" from a social and economic perspective.

Registration for the free-to-attend show is open for sustainability, energy and environment professionals

Lucy Siegle confirmed for Sustainability Keynote at edie Live 2019

Renowned ethical living and environmental journalist Lucy Siegle completes a star-studded line-up of expert speakers appearing at the UK's largest sustainability and energy exhibition, edie Live, as it returns to the NEC Birmingham on 21-22 May.

The new quarterly Business Barometer has been designed primarily for members of edie's Energy Leaders Club – the free members club for in-house energy managers and practitioners

Closing at 5pm: Energy managers called upon to take edie's 'Business Barometer' survey

edie is calling on all UK-based energy managers and practitioners to take a new industry survey which will help to inform an exclusive 'Business Barometer' being developed to identify key energy trends and opportunities.

The second episode in this six-part series explores how Brexit will affect the policy and business spheres' approach to green finance

The Big Brexit Questions podcast: What next for green finance in the UK?

In the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to delay the deadline to organise a departure from the European Union, edie's new podcast mini-series explores the impact of Brexit on key areas of the UK's green economy. Up next: Green finance.

The report by Dasgupta was first announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond during the Spring Statement

UK urged to take lead on biodiversity as UN issues urgent warning

The British government has commissioned Sir Partha Dasgupta, a professor at Cambridge University, to write a report on the economic case for biodiversity as policymakers across the planet are urged to step up efforts to reverse the alarming decline of the natural world.

Policies on afforestation, low-carbon heat and electric transport will all need to be changed to achieve net-zero by 2050

Policy gaps: What's standing between the UK and a net-zero carbon economy?

This week, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its highly anticipated recommendations detailing how the UK economy could reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. But what policies will need to be changed to ensure that we get there?

The Committee says achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 will require a “whole-government” approach to fighting climate change

Net-zero emissions by 2050: CCC publishes long-awaited recommendations for UK Government

The UK must "set and vigorously pursue" a bold new climate change target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 'net-zero' levels by 2050 – replacing the current target of an 80% reduction against 1990 levels – according to a major new report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

Organisations were unanimously in favour of the recommendations outlined in the report

'Government must act now': Green economy reacts to the CCC's net-zero report

Green leaders have come out in force to praise the Committee on Climate Change's report - and requested immediate action from the government on the issues raised from its findings.

The climate emergency was declared just hours before the Committee on Climate Change called on the Government to set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 'net-zero' levels by 2050

UK Parliament becomes first in the world to pass motion declaring a 'climate emergency'

In a hugely symbolic move, the House of Commons had declared a climate emergency, admitting the need for a cross-party approach that would enable the UK to set a world-leading standard on climate action.

Heathrow plans to operate zero-carbon airport infrastructure by 2050

High Court dismisses climate case against third runway at Heathrow Airport

The High Court has today (1 May) dismissed five claimants objecting the expansion of Heathrow Airport on grounds including pollution and climate change impacts, a decision criticised in light of the recent declarations of a "climate emergency" in the UK.

Further plans to tackle climate change are expected to be set out by the Labour party Image: Chatham House

Extinction Rebellion: Michael Gove admits need for urgent action

Planting more trees, restoring peatlands to health and using new technology to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere should all be pursued as a matter of urgency, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has told climate change campaigners.

Take a look at April's top stories, as picked by the edie editorial team

Extinction Rebellion, SDG Spotlights and seaweed sachets: Top 10 sustainability stories of April 2019

April 2019 may well go down as a defining month in the ongoing battle to halt, and ultimately reverse climate change. Global climate strikes led by school children paved the way for the Extinction Rebellion protests to capture the interests of the UK public.

The third episode in this six-part series explores how Brexit will affect the policy and business spheres' approach to renewables

The Big Brexit Questions podcast: What next for the UK's renewable energy sector?

With MPs extending the deadline to organise a departure from the European Union, edie's new podcast mini-series explores the impact of Brexit on key areas of the UK's green economy. Up next: Renewable energy.

Lucas has already tabled a Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill, which aims to place duties on the government to “decarbonise the economy and to eradicate inequality”

Miliband, Lucas and Sandys launch cross-party coalition championing Green New Deal

Former Labour party leader Ed Miliband, the Green Party's Caroline Lucas and former Conservative MP Laura Sandys have today (30 April) launched a cross-party Environmental Justice Commission aimed at ushering in a UK Green New Deal.

The climate strikes have created a unique backdrop for Government to raise ambitions

Net-zero emissions and a Green New Deal for the UK: Key business questions, answered

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is providing its highly anticipated advice on setting a net-zero emissions target to the Government during a time where calls for a Green New Deal continue to grow. Here, edie explores how the UK can set a new standard for climate change policy.

Labour will attempt to force a Commons vote on the declaration of a climate emergency

Corbyn launches bid to declare a national climate emergency

Labour will this week force a vote in parliament to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency as confidential documents show the government has spent only a fraction of a £100m fund allocated in 2015 to support clean air projects.

The UK's exclusion of international aviation and shipping figures from carbon budgets has been criticised by Transport & Environment and Greta Thunberg

UK's 'creative carbon accounting' breaches climate deal, say critics

The UK is breaching the Paris agreement on climate change by excluding international aviation and shipping figures from carbon budgets, according to a leading NGO.

The EAC has warned that the Draft Bill falls

Draft Environment Bill 'severely downgrades' environmental laws from EU standards, MPs warn

The implementation of the UK's new Environment Principles and Governance Bill would lead to key national environmental policies becoming "severely downgraded" from those currently mandated by the EU, MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have warned.

Perry gave evidence to the BEIS Committee on Wednesday (24 April)

BEIS to launch energy efficiency consultation on commercial buildings 'as soon as possible'

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will launch a consultation on the emissions of commercial buildings "as soon as possible", describing the sector as a "huge untapped area" for improvements.

Late last year, the UK Government unveiled plans to

Report: Clear CCUS policy needed for UK net-zero emissions goal

The UK Government should update its "vague terminology" on carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) deployment in the UK to create clear policy drivers that transform the technology into a primary tool to meet national and international climate change targets.

Some of the UK's most powerful politicians offered their views on the ongoing climate strikes

How have key MPs responded to Greta Thunberg and the climate protests?

Following young climate activist Greta Thunberg's rousing speech to UK MPs calling for an overhaul to "very creative, carbon accounting," edie rounds up how key political figures have responded to her comments and the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests.

Thunberg urged MEPs to

'You did not act in time': Greta Thunberg's full speech to MPs

Read the full text of the speech Greta Thunberg gave to MPs at the Houses of Parliament, originally hosted by the Guardian.

The second episode in this six-part series explores how Brexit will affect the policy and business spheres' approach to natural capital

The Big Brexit Questions podcast: What next for the UK's natural capital?

With Brexit discussions set to resume as MPs return to Parliament after an 11-day Easter break, edie's new podcast mini-series explores the impact of Brexit on key areas of the UK's green economy. Up next: Natural capital.

Thunberg urged MEPs to

Forget Brexit and focus on climate change, Greta Thunberg tells EU

The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has chided EU leaders for holding three emergency summits on Brexit and none on the threat posed by climate change.

The first episode in this six-part series explores how Brexit will impact the UK's resource efficiency journey

The Big Brexit Questions: edie analyses green impact of EU exit with series of mini-podcasts

With MPs having failed to agree on a Withdrawal Agreement ahead of the 29 March deadline, the UK's green economy is continuing to ask questions about when and how we will exit the EU, and what impact this will have on business. edie has therefore launched a new series of podcast episodes exploring what Brexit will really mean for key environmental areas, in under 15 minutes.

Hammond announced the UK Spring Statement last month. Image Flickr EU2017EE 

Philip Hammond joins finance coalition to spur climate action

Chancellor Philip Hammond has called on global financial leaders to place climate adaptation and mitigation at the heart of future economic policies and planning, after joining a new global coalition to drive action on climate change.

The UK has already met its first and second carbon budgets and is on track to meet the third. Pictured: The SSE Ferrybridge coal power station

UK forecast to miss fourth and fifth carbon budgets

The UK is on course to breach its fourth and fifth carbon budgets by 139 and 245 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) respectively, according to the latest forecast from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Common rules on taxing carbon produced by energy date back to 2003

European Commission teases carbon tax and nuclear treaty overhaul

The European Commission has made the case for scrapping national vetoes on environmental tax changes and for finally updating the bloc's venerable nuclear treaty, last amended in 1957.

The free-to-download Brexit Matrix provides a much-needed overview of how the UK's different exit scenarios would impact green policy

edie's 'Brexit Matrix' maps out green policy impact of EU departure

With the ongoing Brexit negotiations continuing to cause confusion and uncertainty, edie has pieced together a new 'Matrix' which clearly explains the impacts that the UK's various exit scenarios would have on environmental policy.

The Green Brexit Matrix: What do the different outcomes mean for environmental policy?

How will the UK's departure from the EU impact energy and sustainability professionals from a policy perspective; and how does that impact change depending on the different possible exit scenarios that remain? edie's Green Brexit Matrix maps out the answers.

Meeting the 86% mark would require renewables’ overall share of the energy mix to grow six times faster than current rates between 2020 and 2050

Renewable energy could meet 86% of global power demand by 2050, IRENA concludes

If policymakers, businesses and investors across the world collaborate to scale-up renewable energy and to electrify sectors such as transport and heavy industry, 86% of the global power demand could be met with clean energy by 2050, new research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found.

Failures to meet air pollution regulations cost the EU economy €24.6bn, the study found Pictured: London, where 10 air pollution alerts have been issued since May 2016

Report: Failure to implement clean air laws cost EU €24bn in 2018

By failing to meet targets and regulations set out in EU environmental laws, Member States collectively cost the bloc's economy almost €55bn last year, a new report from the European Commission's Directorate General for the Environment has found.

The Aldersgate Group believes that the net-zero target could bolster opportunities for UK businesses

Government urged to focus on lifecycle emissions as part of net-zero target

Any plans to enshrine a net-zero carbon target into UK law will need to examine the lifecycle emissions of new infrastructure, technology and products - a move the can spur rapid growth for new low-carbon market standards.

Gove announces plans for a 'shadow watchdog' in the event of a no deal Brexit

Gove announces 'shadow watchdog' for environmental standards in event of no-deal Brexit

Environment secretary Michael Gove has announced plans for a "distinguished" lawyer to lead a shadow watchdog to oversee environmental protection in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Of the 3,980+ people directly employed by Defra, around 2,700 have been transferred to

Two-thirds of Defra staff shifted from environmental duties onto Brexit preparations

More than two-thirds of the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs' (Defra) employees have been taken out of their key roles and tasked with delivering Brexit, new official Government figures have revealed.

Sustainable strategies: Learning from the (many) mistakes of Brexit

The Brexit process has been marred by a plethora of mistakes meaning that 'Brexit Day' is just another day of endless negotiations. However, the Government's failures are an opportunity to learn, and there are some key lessons for sustainability professionals.

Around 30 community solar projects are due to miss out on FIT support this year, according to the think tank

Green Alliance: Feed-In Tariff closure a 'major blow' for community solar

The Government's decision to axe the Feed-In Tariff (FiT) scheme will leave dozens of UK community groups "struggling to make the business case" for new small-scale solar projects, think tank Green Alliance has warned.

The directive will target items such as straws, stirrers and cotton buds, as well as polystyrene cups and oxo-degradable plastics

European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics

The European parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a sweeping law against plastic waste that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans.

 EU climate boss Miguel Arias Cañete previously tried to get 45% approved as official policy

EU on track for 50% emission cuts by 2030, study says

While Germany and Eastern European countries continue to oppose raising the EU's 40% emission reduction target for 2030, a new analysis insists the bloc will actually manage at least 50% cuts under a business-as-usual scenario taking into account the latest coal phase-out pledges.

Green Party MP and co-leader Caroline Lucas presents the Decarbonisation and Economic Growth Bill

Have politicians fired the starting gun for a Green New Deal in the UK?

A Private Members Bill in the House of Commons yesterday (26 March) could mark the day in history that serious discussion began on bringing a "Green New Deal" (GND) into UK legislation.

The guide to SEC is now available for all edie readers to download for free

Understanding Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting: edie launches free guide for businesses

Organisations looking to understand the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting framework (SECR) due to come into force from April 2019 now have access to a new edie Explains guide which breaks down everything you need to know about compliance with the legislation.

Failure to protect wildlife, cut pollution and increase funding have left nature in a ‘deep crisis’, the report warns

UK will miss almost all its 2020 nature targets, says official report

The UK will miss almost all the 2020 nature targets it signed up to a decade ago, according to a report by the Government's official advisers.

The EAC will confirm the date for the one-off evidence session in due course

MPs to scrutinise Government's SDG review

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is set to hold a one-off evidence session to examine the UK Government's voluntary national review towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The BEIS Committee is calling for improvements to the Government's sector deal creation process

Industrial Strategy not supporting clean growth in 'neglected' sectors, MPs warn

Sector Deals developed under the UK Government's Industrial Strategy must be bolstered to ensure that "neglected" industries such as steel and retail are supported throughout the low-carbon transition.

The review will attempt to modernise some laws established in the 1800s that are acting as a barrier to modernisation and innovation

Government launches major review on future of transport

The Government has launched its biggest review into the future of transport, including how a £90m investment can spur new regulations that would improve the uptake of low-carbon mobility across UK towns and cities.

Emma serves on a number of boards and advisory committees which include:
ShareAction, Menhaden Capital, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and the Green Finance Institute

Emma Howard Boyd reappointed as Environment Agency chair

Emma Howard Boyd has been reappointed as the chair of the Environment Agency (EA) by Secretary of State Michael Gove, with her second term set to run until September 2022.

School-age strikers are out in force again today (15 March), campaigning for policy action on climate change

WATCH: Michael Gove, Claire Perry and Paul Polman support school climate strikes

Conservative MPs, Government Ministers and green business leaders have today (15 March) come out in support of students that are missing school and going on strike for a second time in the fight against climate change.

The Clean Air Zone in Birmingham has been described as 'much needed' by the council

Birmingham Clean Air Zone given green light by Government

Plans for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Birmingham have received Government approval following the submission of its full business case last month.

Biodiversity was the big talking point from the Spring Statement

Fiddling the margins or a powerful signal? The green economy reacts to the Spring Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond has today (13 March) unveiled new measures to champion biodiversity and drive resilience in the UK's housing stock as part of his Spring Statement, but reactions suggest the Government is still moving too slowly.

A discussion between (L:R) John Lewis Partnerships' Justin Laney; Johnson Matthey's Andy Walker; Michelin Tyre's Alexander Law; Ramboll's Chris Fry; Siemens's Justin Moss and Tesco's Christina Downend is chaired by Aldersgate Group chair Joan Walley. Image: racoon photography

How can policy help decarbonise transport's most challenging areas?

While the electric revolution is gathering pace within the UK's passenger vehicle market, emissions from the wider transport sector continuing to rise steadily. With this in mind, edie explores how harder-to-abate areas such as freight can be decarbonised.

A full three-year spending review is scheduled for later this year to outline what funds will be available for each government department from 2020

Spring Statement: Chancellor unveils biodiversity plans and low-carbon homes requirements

BREAKING: Chancellor Philip Hammond has today (13 March) pledged to implement legislation requiring developers to deliver biodiversity net-gain through all projects in his 2019 Spring Statement, which also includes a review into the economic benefits of environmental conservation.

David Adams of Melius Homes (left) and David Thomas of Barratt Developments (right) giving evidence at the BEIS evidence session on energy efficiency

MPs question housebuilders on energy performance of new homes

Housebuilders and energy firms have been grilled in a parliamentary evidence session yesterday (12 March) on the energy performance of housing portfolios, with a lack of enabling policies highlighted as a major barrier for the sector.

edie has provided a round-up of the areas where Chancellor Philip Hammond could deliver for the green economy – plus the green measures set to be notably absent from the Spring Statement. Image EU2017EE Flickr

Spring Statement: What can the green economy expect from Philip Hammond's announcement?

Investment in a national net-zero target? New energy efficiency measures for homes? edie previews the green-related announcements likely to be included in the Spring Statement on Wednesday (13 March).

The funding will be bolstered by contributions by other governments, waste management firms and big-name corporates such as Unilever

UK doubles aid support for plastic recycling in developing nations

The UK has doubled the amount of financial aid it will send to developing nations to help combat plastic pollution and boost plastic recycling rates overseas.

The draft Environment Bill applies only to England and to reserved matters across the rest of the UK

Northern Ireland asks for greater post-Brexit environmental protection under Environment Bill

Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is calling on UK Ministers to amend the upcoming Environment Bill to ensure that it receives stronger environmental standards after Brexit.

The Infinity Bridge, Teeside: The IPPR has called on government to take action to ensure a

IPPR warns of risks and opportunities to decarbonisation in north of England

Tens of thousands of jobs could be created in the north of England as a result of decarbonisation, but there are many risks to the transition, a new report has claimed.

The funding will be awarded on a competitive basis, to universities researching the health effects of climate change impacts

Government pledges £56m for university research into climate change health impacts

The Department for Health and Social Care is set to funnel up to £56m into projects researching the public health impacts of climate change and other environmental crises by 2025.

A 10-week Defra consultation exploring whether property developers should be required to deliver a

Built environment sector calls for biodiversity focus in upcoming Environment Bill

A group of UK built environment businesses have penned a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, calling on future legislation to boost economic growth through restorative planning that benefits the environment.

The RAC though said that its own findings suggested the UK was “still some distance” from the “tipping point” where consumers would buy electric vehicles as their first choice

Government urged to rethink road taxation policy to spur EV uptake

Motoring tax needs a rethink if it is going to be fit for the twenty first century and the increase in electric vehicles (EVs), according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

The Lords also said climate change should be included in the OEP’s remit

Lords raise concerns over environmental protections under "no deal" Brexit

A Lords committee has written to Environment Secretary Michael Gove to raise concerns about the protection of environmental standards after Brexit.

The debate came after thousands of schoolchildren and teachers walked out of lessons to call for greater government action on climate challenges

MPs debate climate after school strike - but only a handful turn up

In the week that the UK experienced its hottest ever winter day, just a handful of government MPs attended a debate on climate change in parliament on Thursday (28 February).

In 2014, the Government pledged to power one million UK homes with community energy by 2020

Manifesto demands stronger support for community energy

A coalition of 20 charities, green campaigners and community energy groups has published a new manifesto calling for stronger support for community energy schemes to help improve their dwindling prospects.

The first reading of the bill will take place today (25 February), with a second reading earmarked for 15 March

Cross-party MPs back call for nationwide ban on single-use plastics by 2025

A group of MPs from across the political spectrum have given their backing to a new draft bill on plastic pollution, which calls for all "non-essential" single-use plastics to be banned across the UK by 2025.


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