Green Policy

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Bevan became Chief Executive of the Environment Agency in 2015

Environment Agency chief: UK has one chance to get post-Brexit, post-Covid-19 regulation right

The Environment Agency's (EA) chief executive Sir James Bevan has delivered a rousing speech to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urging policymakers to embed key environmental regulations from the EU into UK law ahead of Brexit, and to strengthen certain regulations to stimulate green growth.

Longer-term reforms are expected to be consulted on in 2021

UK Government extends Climate Change Agreement tax breaks

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is extending its Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme for businesses by two years, following a consultation which highlighted its popularity.

The pilot will assist Defra’s 25-year Environment Plan, which includes a commitment to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025

Vodafone and Defra launch IoT tree monitoring system to inform climate policy

Vodafone has enrolled in a new partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor and research tree growth to assist in tackling the climate crisis.

With more than 100 days having passed since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, the survey will provide a snapshot of its impact on the energy, sustainability and CSR professions

The Great Green Recovery Survey: How is Covid-19 affecting you?

edie has launched a new survey giving readers in the CSR, sustainability and energy professions the chance to have their say on exactly how Covid-19 has affected their organisation, and what they make of the global green recovery movement.

Recycling levels have languished in England for several years and the country is currently not on track to achieve its recycling target of 50% by 2020

UK targets 65% municipal waste recycling rates under EU's circular economy package

The UK Government has today (30 July) agreed to transpose aspects of the European Union's Circular Economy Package into UK law, agreeing on targets to recycle 65% of household waste by 2035 and to allow a maximum of 10% municipal waste going to landfill in the same timeframe.

The IEA is forecasting an 8% year-on-year decline in coal generation - but government recovery plans could result in the coal sector rebounding

Report: Governments collectively failing to deliver net-zero-aligned coal phase-out

Coal accounted for 40% of carbon emissions from energy use last year and this trend is unlikely to be stopped by existing commitments from national governments - including so-called 'green' Covid-19 recovery strategies.

In a letter to Environment Secretary George Eustice, the Committee has outlined the importance of keeping to the level playing field in order to strengthen relations with the EU

Lack of trust could derail EU UK environment agreement

A group of MPs has urged the UK Government to overcome barriers to enshrining strong environmental legislation as part of trade agreements with the European Union (EU), warning that a lack of trust between the two parties could derail a common goal to combat the climate crisis.

The DfT wants cycling to be the "natural first choice" for short-distance journeys

Boris Johnson unveils £2bn boost for walking and cycling infrastructure

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched a £2bn package aimed at incentivising walking and cycling as the UK lockdown eases.

The Industrial Strategy was developed under Theresa May, at a time when the UK's long-term climate targets were more lenient and when unemployment levels were lower

MPs question whether the UK's Industrial Strategy is fit-for-purpose

MPs on the BEIS Committee are launching an inquiry into the UK's Industrial Strategy, questioning whether major updates to the policy package are needed in light of the 2050 net-zero target and the Covid-19 crisis.

Heat accounts for one-third of the UK's annual greenhouse gas emissions

CBI: UK won't reach net-zero without 2025 ban on non-hydrogen-ready boilers

The CBI has warned that the UK is unlikely to meet its 2050 net-zero target without sweeping policy changes on heat, including the creation of a National Delivery Body and a requirement for all boilers to be hydrogen-ready by 2025.

The Treasury has costed the UK's Covid-19 recovery package at £160bn. Since lockdown began, around £4bn has been earmarked for the green economy specifically

Boris Johnson outlines £750m green spending for heavy industry and aviation

Boris Johnson has unveiled a £350m funding pot for technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen alongside a £400m sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) pledge, to be spent as part of the UK's Covid-19 recovery effort.

The updated deal raises spending on climate action from 25% to 30%

Coronavirus: EU's recovery deal lacking climate spending accountability, green groups warn

Following four nights of negotiations, the European Union (EU) has agreed its biggest joint borrowing plan ever recorded, pledging €750bn to a coronavirus recovery package, but green groups have expressed concerns that focus and accountability on green spending have "taken a battering".

EV uptake in the UK is growing exponentially, but pure-electric vehicles still account for just less than 0.5% of the national stock

Shell encourages UK Government to bring petrol and diesel car sale forward

Shell's Country Chair for the UK has said that the national ban on petrol and diesel car sales could and should be moved forward to 2030, to ensure that the 2050 net-zero target is met.

Around 80% of the UK’s environmental laws have been forged in partnership with other nations in Europe

Defra unveils natural capital 'assessment' funding as post-Brexit green recovery shapes up

Environment Minister George Eustice has announced a new £5m Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment to protect the UK's environment as part of a new package of Environment Bill measures, on the same day that the Government unveiled a £16m sustainable farming package in South America.

The largest contributor to unconditional fossil fuel financing is the US

G20 nations funnel $151bn of Covid-19 recovery funding into fossil fuels

Of the Covid-19 recovery funding allocated to energy companies by G20 governments, 56% has been handed to fossil fuel projects, equivalent to $151bn (£119bn).

Battery storage projects are becoming increasingly common in the UK, but investment and installation had lagged in the first half of 2020

Energy storage planning regulations eased in bid to spur net-zero transition

The UK Government has moved to relax planning rules for large-scale energy storage arrays, in the hopes of speeding up the energy sector's net-zero transition and boosting investment in the sector post-lockdown.

The hearing formed part of the Committee's inquiry into the green recovery. Image: Gov.uk

Alok Sharma: Energy White Paper and Heat Strategy coming this Autumn

Following months of delays and amid mounting pressure from businesses and climate advisors alike, the UK Government will publish the Energy White Paper, Heat Strategy and Buildings Strategy alongside the Autumn Statement, Alok Sharma has confirmed.

Financing the net-zero transition should not result in unintended negative social consequences, the report urges

Create net-zero development bank to spur post-Brexit low-carbon transition, MPs urge

By creating a National Investment Bank with an explicit net-zero mandate, Ministers could reap the benefits of the UK's Brexit transition period, Covid-19 recovery planning and low-carbon transition simultaneously, MPs, economists and local leaders are urging.

The study calls for investment to be unlocked to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes

Government urged to spend £5bn to unlock £100bn green recovery

A group of businesses, mayors and political leaders have called on the Conservative government to spend £5bn to deliver on its promised manifesto pledges in order to unlock £100bn in capital investment on energy efficiency and create more than 300,000 green jobs.

The hydrogen strategy forms part of the Bloc's Green Deal, a policy package intended to deliver net-zero by 2050 

EU hydrogen strategy: Bloc charts path towards 100% renewable hydrogen

The European Commission unveiled plans to promote hydrogen based entirely on renewable electricity like wind and solar, but said low-carbon hydrogen derived from fossil fuels will also be supported in order to scale up production in the short term.

The fossil fuel lobby has been the most active of any sector since March

Report: Governments are bowing to fossil fuel lobbying in Covid-19 recovery planning

Almost two-thirds of the interventions which fossil fuel lobbyists made in policymaking between March and June were successful, new analysis has revealed.

Plan B argues the funding set aside for a green recovery is less than what has been issued to climate-wrecking projects and industries

Government threatened with legal action over coronavirus recovery package

The UK Government is facing another court challenge over climate-wrecking policy decisions, with UK-based Plan B threatening legal action over the recent coronavirus recovery package, calling it a "new deal for polluters".

Currently, just 15% of the world’s land and 7% of the ocean has some degree of protection

Protect one-third of world's oceans and land to deliver $500bn economic boost, scientists urge

Protecting 30% of oceans and land globally would reap economic benefits five times greater than the initial costs of conservation and restoration, a major new scientific report has concluded.

In total, the Update detailed £160bn of spending. Image: Parliament Live TV

'An encouraging start': Reaction as Treasury unveils £3bn boost for green economy

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his Summer Economic Update to Parliament, including a £3bn package to stimulate the UK's green economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has broadly been welcomed by key individuals and organisations.

The survey results come as the Treasury prepares to announce new plans on retrofitting

Survey: Energy professionals believe retrofitting is key to a green Covid-19 recovery

A survey of 350 UK-based energy professionals has found that 80% want the majority of the UK's Covid-19 recovery package funnelled into 'green' industries, with energy efficiency retrofits for housing cited as the most popular route to both economic recovery and net-zero.

Sunak's speech has been long-awaited, given that other nations, including Spain and Germany, have already outlined full Covid-19 recovery measures

Green Recovery: Treasury unveils £3bn package spotlighting energy efficiency and reskilling

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined the key details of a £3bn plan intended to create thousands of "green-collar" jobs, improve energy efficiency and conserve natural resources.

Shipping accounts for about 2% of global greenhouse gases and is considered hard-to-abate

MEPs set to navigate shipping into the EU's carbon market

Members of the European Parliament's environment committee (ENVI) will vote on Tuesday (7 July) on a package of measures intended to clean up the maritime sector and to include shipping in the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The Treasury will reveal more details around the recovery package next week, and is under mounting pressure to ensure that it is "green"

Brits believe a non-green Covid-19 recovery would be bad for the economy, cross-party survey reveals

A survey of more than 2,000 UK voters, in which all major political preferences were accounted for, has revealed that the majority of Brits want a "green" recovery from Covid-19, in which measures designed to boost the economy also serve to reduce pollution and emissions.

Clockwise from bottom-left: CCC deputy chair Baronness Brown; chair Lord Deben and director of analysis Mike Thompson

CCC: UK's net-zero transition could be easier than first thought

The Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) chair, co-chair and chief analyst believe that the UK's transition to net-zero could be accelerated, rather than hampered, by the Covid-19 crisis.

Following Johnson's speech, further details will be provided by the Treasury in the coming weeks. Image: 10 Downing Street

'A false start': Green groups express disappointment in Boris Johnson's 'New Deal' recovery package

Key members of the UK's green economy have been offering their thoughts on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Covid-19 recovery package, the fundamentals of which have now been unveiled. The general feeling is one of dismay, following months of campaigning.

Johnson will confirm that the National Infrastructure Strategy will be published this Autumn

Boris Johnson's New Deal for Britain yet to align with green recovery calls

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a multi-billion-pound "New Deal for Britain" that prioritises jobs and infrastructure growth to respond to the economic crash caused by Covid-19, but following months of calls for a "green recovery," the environment is largely absent from the plan.

The plan's fundamentals will be revealed this week, with further detail to be provided by the Treasury in the coming weeks

Policy wishlist: What does the UK's green economy want from the coronavirus recovery package?

After weeks of speculation, Boris Johnson is set to outline the fundamentals of the UK's Covid-19 recovery plan on Tuesday (30 June). Here, we round up nine of the specific measures which green economy experts are urging for inclusion.

Carbon pricing has proven a key sticking-point in debates around both the net-zero transition and delivering a low-carbon recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic

EU carbon price to reach €32 by 2030, short of required price for UK's net-zero target

The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has published its latest carbon pricing forecast and vowed to lobby for the net-zero transition by 2050 at the latest, while the Zero Carbon Commission is t calling for a UK carbon price of £75 per tonne by 2030.

The need for additional training is most pronounced in the transport, mining and built environment sectors

1 in 10 jobs at risk without 'green' reskilling, Mayors warn Treasury

Up to 2.2 million Brits could face unemployment unless the UK's Covid-19 recovery package contains measures to reskill them for "green-collar" roles, Mayors and council leaders representing 25 million residents have warned.

The inquiry will run for three months

MPs to probe whether Covid-19 recovery package is truly 'green'

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched a new inquiry into the environmental and social implications of the UK Government's Covid-19 recovery package, just one day before the plan's key aspects are due to be unveiled by Boris Johnson.

The UK's recovery package is due imminently, with Boris Johnson having repeatedly assured that its measures will create a greener economy

Deep retrofits, community energy and net-zero stress tests: Green Alliance publishes Covid-19 recovery recommendations

Green Alliance has issued a string of policy recommendations for creating a "green and resilient" Covid-19 recovery package, which, if enacted in full, could close the £14.1bn annual investment gap between current levels of finance and those needed to meet net-zero by 2050.

The CCC's major recommendations cover the UK's most-emitting sectors, surface transport, heavy industry, the built environment, energy and agriculture

'We're still walking when we should run': Green economy leaders urge Ministers to implement latest CCC recommendations

Key organisations and individuals from across the UK's green economy have backed the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) latest progress report to Parliament, urging Ministers to seize the "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to create a green Covid-19 recovery.

The CCC submitted its broader Covid-19 recovery principles to Parliament in May

CCC: Covid-19 recovery a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to spur net-zero transition

Producing a Covid-19 recovery plan which is fully aligned with the UK's 2050 net-zero climate target is "absolutely necessary and entirely possible" with strong coordination across Whitehall, Ministers have been told by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

41% of the UK's plant and animal species have declined since 1970, according to RSPB. On a global scale, a sixth mass extinction is predicted within the century.

IPPR: UK 'acutely vulnerable' to environmental breakdown

UK policymakers have 'historically disregarded' the economic, social and environmental risks posed by the degradation of nature, meaning more ambition and action is now desperately needed to mitigate further damage and adapt to changes which are already baked-in.

The call to action comes as the Trade Bill progresses through the House of Commons

Post-Brexit trade policy must encourage 'race to the top' on environmental standards, business giants urge

A coalition of business leaders is urging Ministers to ensure that post-Brexit Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) not only include non-regression clauses on environmental standards, but actively promote stronger requirements on a global scale.

The specifics of the €750bn package are still being finalised

EU recovery fund leaves €1.6trn investment gap towards climate targets, experts say

Calculations by experts show that the EU's planned economic rescue package, worth €750bn, is nowhere near enough to achieve the bloc's climate targets. Even in the best-case scenario, only one-third of the costs would be covered.

Other cities and nations have included investments in active travel in their recovery packages

Climate Assembly: 79% of Brits want Covid-19 recovery package tied to net-zero

A survey of the members of the UK's Climate Assembly, who were chosen to resemble the national population in terms of both social demographics and views on environmental issues, found that almost eight in ten want net-zero alignment embedded in all facets of the upcoming Covid-19 recovery package.

A play on 'build back better', the letter urges measures to help the UK 'grow back better' by taking more ambitious action on nature

25,000 jobs could be created through nature investment, charities tell Treasury

By providing funding for 330 "shovel-ready" nature restoration projects, the UK Government could create 10,000 jobs in the short-term and a further 15,000 in the long-term, while putting itself on track to meet key climate, biodiversity, tree planting and wellbeing targets.

As we move into the second half of June, just six months of the initial transition period remain

Is the UK on track for a green Brexit?

It's been a big week for Brexit news, with the UK kick-starting trade talks with Australia and progressing negotiations with the US and EU. But concerns that the promised 'green' Brexit will fail to materialise are mounting against a backdrop of no-deal warnings and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report notes that six million jobs are currently at risk in the global energy and transport sectors, but that most roles could be preserved for the long-term with targeted policy interventions

IEA unveils major new green Covid-19 recovery roadmap

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has set out a string of policy recommendations green Covid-19 recovery packages, which, if followed in full, could slash annual energy-related emissions by billions of tonnes, while creating jobs, improving air pollution and boosting GDP.

The NHS accounts for around 4% of the UK's annual emissions

NHS 'not prepared' for net-zero transition or climate change health impacts, MPs warn

The Government must better support the NHS to go fossil-fuel-free and to adapt to the impacts of global warming and nature loss on public health, MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) are warning.

The plates will first be applied to new zero-emission vehicles this autumn. Image: DfT

Green number plates for electric vehicles set for UK rollout

The UK Government will press forward with plans to fit electric vehicles (EVs) with special green number plates this autumn, following successful trials.

Johnson is at the helm at a "critical juncture in history", the letter states. Image: National Trust

Charities to Boris Johnson: Pandemic response will determine whether UK meets climate goals

More than 50 UK charities are putting pressure on the government to develop a "truly green" Covid-19, lest the nation miss its 2050 net-zero goal and play host to widening social inequalities.

Under Theresa May, the Government broadly rejected recommendations from MPs for decarbonising the UKEF portfolio.

UK Government mulling ban on overseas fossil fuel financing, reports

Ministers are reportedly considering moves to ban the UK Government's direct lending facility from financing any new or existing fossil fuel projects overseas, following a series of high-profile exposés.

'Happy Birthday, you haven’t aged a day’: One year on from the UK’s net-zero announcement

It's been one year since the UK's historic net-zero announcement, and the movement is being kept afloat by the corporate sector in a year the has seen policy blindsided by a global pandemic and slowed to a frustrating pace by Brexit.

Buildings account for 40% of the EU's energy consumption and around one-third of its emissions. As such, the built environment sector will require support to align with the bloc's 2050 net-zero ambitions

Green building advocates 'underwhelmed' by EU recovery plan

When the European Commission unveiled its proposed €750bn recovery fund two weeks ago, green activists were expecting a detailed spending programme, with billions of euros allocated to clean mobility, renewables, and an upcoming EU-wide building renovation wave. Those working in the built environment space have, however, expressed disappointment.

The UK's recovery plan is anticipated for publication in the second half of June

Carbon pricing, climate disclosure and COP26: Businesses outline key asks for Covid-19 recovery policy

The Aldersgate Group - an alliance of dozens of business and civil society leaders - has published a new briefing outlining key policy changes and low-carbon investments it believes should be made to ensure the UK's recovery from Covid-19 produces a greener, more inclusive and resilient economy.

Johnson has said his recovery plans should result in progress towards shared goals, such as the SDGs, getting "back on track"

Embed the SDGs into Covid-19 recovery plans, leaders urge Boris Johnson

More than 100 leaders from across the UK's business and public sectors have called on Boris Johnson to ensure that the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are placed at the heart of the UK's Covid-19 recovery planning, in a bid to couple the economic reboot with social as well as environmental progress.

The UK's domestic recovery plans will be laid out in full later this month - but what are key figures and organisations doing to ensure they account for environmental, as well as economic, issues? 

Race to Zero: What's set to be included in the UK's green Covid-19 recovery package?

The UK Government's landmark global campaign for mobilising net-zero support ahead of the postponed COP26 summit - 'Race to Zero' - was launched late last week. But what decarbonisation activities are the likes of Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Alok Sharma backing for inclusion in national recovery planning?

New analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU)’s Net-Zero Tracker has found that 53% of global GDP is now covered by an intended or actual net-zero commitment

Race to Zero: COP26 campaign launched to push nations towards net-zero targets

To mark World Environment Day, the UK Government has launched its "Race to Zero" global campaign to mobilise support for the net-zero transition across businesses, cities and nations, with new data finding that 53% of global GDP is covered by a net-zero ambition in some form.

BEIS wants to provide consistency for those accessing the market

UK proposes national Emissions Trading System to replace EU carbon market

The UK Government has published new proposals on its individual UK-wide Emissions Trading System (ETS) that would replace the EU's carbon trading variant.

The projects will receive funding and assistance to develop business plans with the aim of attracting additional private sector investment

Defra backs natural capital investment projects

Four projects focused on protecting and restoring natural habitat across the UK are being backed by Government funding as part of a pilot scheme to funnel more private sector investment into the natural environment.

The report warns that the UK’s “generally robust historic resilience” may be challenged by future pandemics or other hidden factors

National Infrastructure Commission calls for climate resiliency planning and stress tests

The UK Government has been urged to set "clear resilience standards" that enables energy and water networks, transport, essential services and all infrastructure sectors to stress test and plan against hidden climate challenges on the horizon.

The document outlines sweeping green policy changes across energy, buildings and transport

Europe's draft 'green recovery' plan leaked

The European Commission's promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EURACTIV.

The Capacity Market will now be subjected to reporting and verification mechanisms that place a carbon emissions limit that will apply to all contracted technologies before July 2019

Government to introduce 'carbon threshold' for Capacity Market

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has outlined reforms to the Capacity Market auction system which will enable demand-side response technologies to bid for 15-year contracts while adding a carbon emissions limit to spur an increase of low-carbon assets offered contracts.

Farming is one of the sectors most exposed to environmental and climate risk

MPs to vote virtually on Agriculture Bill

The House of Commons is set to undergo its first virtual voting procedure today (13 May), with MPs given one last opportunity to amend the Agriculture Bill which is designed to safeguard agricultural processes and the natural environment.

edie has rounded up the key findings from the survey

In numbers: The public's understanding of net-zero and green policies

A government survey of more than 1,800 UK citizens has found that the public is largely unaware of net-zero movement and what that means for the UK, despite more than three-quarters of citizens being concerned about climate change.

The hydrogen that is produced will need to be low-carbon, cost-effective and spur an economic recovery, the EAC notes.

MPs to probe role of hydrogen in net-zero transition

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is to seek advice on the role of low-carbon hydrogen production and utilisation in accordance with the UK's wider efforts to spur economic growth and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The business guide is free to download

edie launches updated net-zero business guide to account for Covid-19 and green policy delays

Organisations looking to understand the various issues surrounding the hot topic of net-zero and how the trend could be impacted by the coronavirus and delays to critical green legislation now have access to a crucial new edie Explains guide, which breaks down everything you need-to-know on the topic.

edie Explains: Net-zero carbon business

What is 'net-zero' in the context of business emissions? Which organisations are most suited to adopting net-zero carbon strategies? And, what is the impact of the coronavirus on the net-zero movement?

The CCC believes that the government can lead a shift to new social norms, including supporting home working and remote medical consultations as well as improved safety for cycling

CCC: Change tax systems to build green economic recovery post-coronavirus

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has advised Prime Minister Boris Johnson, COP26 President Alok Sharma and national first ministers across the UK, calling for climate action to be placed at the heart of an economic rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic.

The 11th Petersberg Climate Dialogue reiterated the need for climate action during the pandemic

Messages of hope: How world leaders are rallying for a green Covid-19 recovery

The two-day Petersberg Climate Dialogue finished yesterday evening, with ministerial leaders from the UK, Germany, the EU and the UN all delivering rallying cries for nations to focus on climate mitigation as part of any efforts to stimulate the economic downturned caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The RHI was put in place by the Government as a means to convert 12% of UK homes to renewable heat by the end of 2020

Government planning to replace RHI with Clean Heat Grant

The UK Government has outlined its intentions to replace the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) with a new Clean Heat Grant that will aim to help households and businesses decarbonise through technology and push the nation towards its net-zero target for 2050.

First Vice-President of European Commission Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands, image: European Parliament Flickr

European Commission promises green recovery to EU lawmakers

The European Commission's Green Deal chief, Frans Timmermans, assured EU lawmakers that "every euro" spent on economic recovery measures after the COVID-19 crisis would be linked to the green and digital transitions. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Sharma noted that his department was still pushing the climate agenda during the pandemic. Image: Gov.uk

Alok Sharma: 'Focus has not stopped' on global climate action

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Alok Sharma had stated that the UK remains focused on preparations for the delayed COP26 climate summit, claiming that nations can't treat the coronavirus pandemic and climate action as an "either-or" scenario.

Stark discusses future carbon budgets, infrastructure strategies, COP 26 and coronavirus recoveries 

CCC boss: Green and resilient economic recovery can push UK towards net-zero target

EXCLUSIVE: The Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) chief executive Chris Stark believes the UK Government should prioritise a green and resilient economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic that doesn't lock in fossil fuels and puts the nation on an upwards trajectory towards a socially just net-zero transformation.

More than 9,000 facilities across the UK benefit from participation in the scheme

Businesses called upon to consult on £300m energy-saving Climate Change Agreement

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a two-month consultation on an extension to the Climate Change Agreement (CCA), a legislative mechanism that enables businesses to save up to £300m annually on energy costs.

Advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget, which covers the reduction levels required for the period of 2033-2027 will now be published in December 2020, rather than September

UK's climate watchdog to refocus advisory reports to account for coronavirus impacts on net-zero

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has announced it is amending its advisory reports due for publication over the next 12 months to account for responses to the coronavirus pandemic, with a report on the UK's sixth carbon budget pushed back to December.

The charities are asking for additional short-term emergency funding to cover costs for vital work.

Coronavirus: Environmental charities braced for long-term financial turmoil

Nature and conservation charities have expressed concern that the Government's £750m aid package for charities will not be enough to stop the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak from stifling efforts to tackle climate change and protect nature over the coming years.

 EU leaders asked the EU executive to start preparing “a comprehensive recovery plan” that also integrates the green and digital transitions

EU says green finance will be 'key focus' of post-virus recovery phase

As European countries fight the coronavirus pandemic, they "must not lose sight" of the EU's climate neutrality objective, the European Commission reminded on Wednesday (8 April).

His remit as Shadow Secretary will focus on a number of key legislative strategies that the green economy is eagerly awaiting

Ed Miliband named as BEIS Shadow Secretary

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has made a return to front-bench politics after being named by the party's new leader Keir Starmer as the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), giving him a key role in lobbying for green policy.

(Top-left to bottom-right): Centrica Business Solutions' Louis Burford; Decathlon's Emma Woolley; Centrica's Andrea Barrett; and edie's Luke Nicholls, who chaired the Virtual Roundtable

The net-zero bulldozer: Have the SDGs been forgotten in an era of climate activism?

2019 will be remembered as a year of unprecedented climate action, with improved science and mass citizen engagement spurring nations and businesses to set net-zero targets. But amid this rush of climate action, have the other social and environmental issues set out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) been deprioritised?

Starmer has hard work ahead of him following Labour's dismal General Election. Image: Chris McAndrew / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Keir Starmer: Exploring the green policy views of the new Labour leader

Months after the party's worst electoral performance in almost a century, the Labour party has elected Keir Starmer as its new leader, with the MP for Holborn and St Pancras ready to promote his vision of a socially just low-carbon transition.

The EAC has given Sharma until 30 April to provide a response

MPs call for climate policy clarity on COP26 progress following postponement

The chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has written to COP26 President Alok Sharma to seek an update on the "sad but unfortunate necessity" of postponing the climate summit, noting that climate change cannot afford to slip down the political agenda.

Chief executives from leading oil and gas giants are set to meet with President Donald Trump today to officially ask for relief support in relation to Covid-19

Polluters see coronavirus as chance to lobby against climate policies

Corporate lobbying groups have been accused of “taking advantage” of the chaos caused by the coronavirus outbreak, with oil and gas groups and automotive coalitions found to have been calling for relaxed or postponed environmental regulations as response mechanisms to the virus.

Pictured: Tree Saplings planted under an offset scheme. Image: Philip Halling/ cc-by-sa/2.0 / geograph.org.uk/p/4122268

UK Government urged to launch 'office for carbon removal' in crackdown on offsetting greenwash

The UK Government should open a national 'office for carbon removal' in order to verify that carbon offsets purchased by businesses in the drive for compliance with its net-zero target have a tangible climate impact.

Implementations of Green New Deals are faltering due to economic pressures, but the movement could be the just transition society needs

'Normal was a crisis': Why the Green New Deal is the perfect response for the post-Covid-19 economy

As the economy and society continue to suffer from the impacts of the coronavirus, experts are already exploring how to stimulate a financial recovery. All roads could lead to a Green New Deal, but the green economy will need a clear and concise voice to push policy towards it.

Campaigners have described industry lobbying of EU to defer impending regulations as shameless

Carmakers accused of trying to use coronavirus crisis to avert EU emissions crackdown

The motor industry has been accused by campaigners of trying to use the coronavirus crisis to avert stricter environmental regulation, after correspondence showed carmakers had lobbied the EU to defer impending laws.

Between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 502,000 square miles of forest, according to the World Bank—an area larger than South Africa

Business giants including Tesco urge ministers to end supply chain deforestation by 2030

Tesco, McDonald's and WWF are among the businesses and NGOs urging the UK Government to set a legally binding 2030 target to end deforestation in agriculture and forest product supply chains.

Implementing the labelling would require Government intervention, which campaigers are keen to see before COP26 in November

Study: Climate-wrecking products 'should come with smoking-style warnings'

Cigarette packets with grisly warnings of the consequences of smoking are intended to deter smokers. Now a group of public health experts says similar warnings should appear on high-carbon products, from airline tickets and energy bills to petrol pumps, to show consumers the health impacts of the climate crisis.

Pictured:  European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has maintained that she wants the Green Deal to be the "hallmark" of her tenure

EU leaders back 'green transition' in coronavirus recovery plan

While attention continues to focus on the urgent health aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, EU leaders have called on the European Commission to start preparing "a comprehensive recovery plan" that integrates green and digital aspects.

The plan will ensure that active travel and public transport are the "natural first choice" for short-distance journeys, the DfT claims

Government presses forward with plan to align 'every single mode of transport' with net-zero

The Department for Transport (DfT) has said it is on track to deliver a policy roadmap for decarbonising "every single mode of transport" in line with the UK's 2050 net-zero target this year, despite fears that the coronavirus pandemic would slow progress.

By 2045, there will be 7% less water available for abstraction across the UK, the report states

Parts of England could run short of water within 20 years, NAO warns

Unsustainable water abstraction processes and infrastructure, compounded by climate change and population growth, will result in parts of southern England running out of water within 20 years.

Pictured: Caroline Lucas MP speaking at the Bill's informal reception last month. Image: Today for Tomorrow

Bill requiring UK policymakers to consider long-term environmental sustainability introduced

A Bill which would require Ministers to fully consider the long-term environmental and social implications of all policy changes was introduced in the House of Commons on Tuesday (24 March), receiving cross-party support.

Both were set to be questioned on the UK's preparations for COP26

Committee meetings with Claire O'Neill and Alok Sharma postponed

Due to the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee session with former COP26 President Claire O'Neill and the Lords Committee meeting with her replacement Alok Sharma have both been postponed.

The slowdown in large-scale clean energy projects started before coronavirus crisis due to lack of state support, the analysis concludes

Energy storage boom stalls in Europe

Europe's energy storage boom stalled last year due to a slowdown in large-scale schemes designed to store clean electricity from major renewable energy projects, according to the European Association for Storage of Energy (Ease).

Due to pressure from MPs and constituents, the pension fund publicised 20% of its holdings for the first time in 2017. Image: UK Parliament

MP's pension fund still investing in fossil fuels

MPs have yet again called for the trustees of the Parliamentary Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuel companies Royal Dutch Shell and BP, having finally integrated investment into renewables into the fund.

The EU's Green Deal sets a 2050 net-zero target for the bloc - but an interim aim for 2030 is yet to be finalised.

EU exploring cost-benefit of 55% emissions cut by 2030

In the middle of the Covid 19 outbreak, the European Commission published last week what would have otherwise been a high-profile initiative: the launch of a cost-benefit analysis of increasing the EU's climate ambition for 2030 in view of reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century.

Policymakers have repeatedly faced calls to make energy efficiency a larger focus within climate strategies. 

BEIS: Energy efficiency installations increased in 2019

New figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show nearly 220,000 energy efficiency measures were installed through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal framework in 2019 - a 5% year-on-year increase.

Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s executive vice-president in charge of the Green Deal, will be in self-imposed quarantine until 20 March

Green Deal facing delays due to coronavirus, EU admits

The European Commission is having to re-order its priorities in the face of the coronavirus crisis, with "non-essential" initiatives like the biodiversity strategy and the farm-to-fork strategy likely to be delayed by several weeks.

The Welsh Government's approach to plastics has been to go "beyond recycling"

Wales unveils plans to ban single-use plastics from 2021

The Welsh Government will bring "restrictions" around certain single-use plastic items, including straws and cotton buds, into effect in the first half of 2021.

 The Environment Bill will soon mandate net-gain for all housing developers

Developers 'must go beyond biodiversity net-gain requirements': Report

Ecology consultancy EPR has unveiled a new support package for developers striving to meet the UK Government's housing targets while going beyond compliance with the new Environment Bill's biodiversity net-gain requirements.

As of 2018, England's water consumption on a per capita basis was 143 litres daily 

UK water industry criticises 'unclear' Government approach to efficiency

The trade body representing the UK's water sector has criticised the Government's previous action and planned moves for water efficiency in homes and business, as water use is set to rise amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

E-scooter roll-outs in the UK have, to date, proven slower than in markets such as the US and Germany. Image: Lime

UK Government funnels £90m into electric scooters and delivery drones

The UK Government has unveiled a £90m funding package to be spent on "making journeys easier, smarter and greener", with the bulk of funding set to be allocated to electric scooters and low-carbon deliveries by drone.

Each week, edie rounds up some of the best sustainability stories across five key pillars

Carlsberg's electric trucks and Abu Dhabi's plastics ban: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.


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