From carbon chancellors to CCS: What green election pledges have major parties made this week?
It's been a busy week for green election pledges, with the Conservatives, Green Party, Labour and Liberal Democrats all outlining multi-billion-pound spending plans for climate adaptation and mitigation. Here, edie rounds up the announcements of the past seven days.
It’s time for a concrete Government plan to deliver net-zero
Extinction Rebellion's actions and Greta Thunberg's rise onto the global stage have forced climate change to the top of the media and political agenda - exactly where it should be. It led to the net-zero pledge and burgeoning public awareness of the urgency of our situation and what we must do to combat it.
REA: Policy gaps mean Britain is failing to finance 'crucial' shift to flexible power system
Britain is failing to attract and facilitate investment in the transition to a flexible electricity system - a transition described as "crucial" to the delivery of the UK's 2050 net-zero target.
Tim Yeo: We have to take cost risks on low-carbon projects
The urgency of the climate crisis means that the world cannot wait for a decade or more to find out whether emerging technologies - such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) - will work, the former chair of Parliament's energy and climate change committee has warned.
General Election: Majority of UK public calls for net-zero target to be pushed forward
More than half of UK citizens believe the Government should push the target to reach net-zero ambitions by 2050 forward by at least 20 years, with climate policy set to be a key battleground for the upcoming general election.
2,500 scientists urge EU to reform environmentally 'damaging' agriculture policy
More than 2,500 European scientists have joined forces and reached out to the EU parliament in a letter urging it to "act on the science and undertake a far-reaching reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) without delay".
CBI: Stronger energy, transport and heat policies needed to make 2020s 'a decade of climate action'
The CBI's director-general Carolyn Fairbairn has made a rousing call to action ahead of December's general election, urging the next Government to kick-start a "decade of climate action".
Treasury's net-zero minister: Climate action will be a 'signature theme' of next government
Speaking exclusively to edie following the launch of its Net-Zero Review, HM Treasury minister Simon Clarke outlines the Government's plans to deliver on the legislation to reduce the UK's emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Government should lead by example and target net-zero pre-2050, MPs urge
MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have urged the Government to "put its own house in order" and set internal net-zero targets far more ambitious than the national 2050 deadline.
Government to send 30,000 invites for citizen climate assembly
The UK Government will send out 30,000 letters to invite members of the public to join a citizens' assembly aimed at outlining how the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can meet net-zero emissions targets.
Energy giants call for post-Brexit carbon price certainty in 'Net-Zero Budget'
Energy giants Drax, Orsted and SSE have penned a joint letter to Chancellor Sajid Javid calling for the Government to outline post-Brexit carbon pricing mechanisms, warning that it is crucial to the resilience of business and acts as a key indicator for investors.
Energy minister to consider departmental carbon budgets
The energy and clean growth minister has told MPs he will look into the idea that government departments should be setting their own carbon budgets.
Environment Bill passes second reading against widespread criticism from MPs
The UK Government's Environment Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons and will now move to committee stage, following a vigorous debate between MPs on the legislation.
Climate crisis 'will affect how majority will vote in UK election', poll finds
A majority of people in the UK say the climate crisis will influence how they vote in the looming general election, according to an opinion poll, with younger voters feeling particularly strongly about the issue.
Labour details plan to deliver net-zero energy sector by 2030
Labour has launched a future energy plan outlining how a net benefit of £800bn could be realised in the UK, by fast-tracking the nation's energy sector to net-zero emissions by 2030.
Government urged to boost support for anaerobic digestion
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has been urged to provide stop gap funding to support the rollout of biomethane plants when the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme expires in 2021.
UK to use finance meant for green energy to support fracking in Argentina
The UK is planning to invest in Argentina's controversial oil shale industry using a £1bn export finance deal intended to support green energy, according to government documents seen by the Guardian.
Report: Local areas to miss net-zero goals without Government support
Government needs to incentivise and support local funding and devolved powers in order to move the UK's local areas to a net-zero carbon economy, a new report has claimed.
300 MPs call for Parliamentary Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuels
Trustees of the £700m Parliamentary Pension Fund have been urged to respond to the climate emergency by 300 MPs who have asked that the fund divests from holdings in fossil fuel companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.
Mayors Khan and Street call for Green New Deal to empower regions on climate action
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, have called on the UK Government to introduce a Green New Deal that devolves power to enable regions to create a fair and just transition to a net-zero economy.
Air pollution reduced by a third in London's ULEZ
As new data reveals that air pollution is increasing the number of people suffering from severe health conditions, London City Hall has revealed that the introduction of Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has slashed pollution levels by a third and carbon emissions by 13%.
Little progress made in tackling air pollution in Europe, research says
Little progress has been made on tackling air quality in Europe despite public outcry in many countries and increasing awareness of the health impacts of pollution, new research shows.
CCC sets sixth carbon budget date, urges Treasury to ramp up net-zero plans
The Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) chairman Lord Deben has confirmed that the body will publish its recommendations for the UK's sixth carbon budget in September 2020.
'Broad support' for EU-wide plastic tax
A European tax on plastic waste is gaining momentum as a way to bring new sources of revenue to the EU budget as leaders prepare for a two-day summit in Brussels beginning today (17 October).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson to chair Government climate change sub-committee
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been revealed as the chair for a new Cabinet committee on climate change that will drive progress towards net-zero across all areas of Government.
Optimistic but lacking action: Green groups offer mixed reaction to Environment Bill
The Environment Bill has been published today and the reaction is already in from the UK's green business community on the legislation and its impact on corporate sustainability.
Government unveils new net-zero support for buildings and 'every single mode of transport'
The UK Government has published its highly-anticipated response to the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) advice on meeting net-zero carbon by 2050, including new measures to decarbonise business buildings and transport, and to support the uptake of energy storage at scale.
Deposit return schemes and biodiversity net-gain: Raft of new policies unveiled in Environment Bill
The UK Government has launched its new governance system on issues covering clean air, waste management and plastics pollution, natural capital approaches and water stewardship, in the form of the long-awaited Environment Bill.
WATCH: Al Gore on disruptive politics, Green New Deals and climate strikes
During a 30-minute keynote speech at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, former vice president Al Gore gave a rousing speech on the climate crisis and global efforts to transition to a net-zero economy. Here, edie rounds up the key points of his speech for you to watch.
'An unambiguous weakening of current protections': Reaction to environmental aspects of Queen's speech
Key members of the UK's green economy have welcomed the inclusion of the upcoming Environment Bill in the Queen's speech to Parliament today (14 October) - but continue to question the policy framework's loopholes.
Bloomberg and mayors call for Global Green New Deal to 'marry economy and ecology'
The Mayors of cities including Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Paris have issued a rallying call for the adoption of a Global Green New Deal that recognises the threat of the climate emergency and strives to transition to a low-carbon future through a fair and just transition.
Labour commits to 37 new wind farms in green industrial revolution election push
Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled plans to create another 70,000 jobs in offshore windfarms part-owned by the public, as his party gears up for an election manifesto focusing on a green industrial revolution.
Green Party declares 'nature emergency'
The Green Party has built on its declaration of a 'climate emergency' by declaring a 'nature emergency' in response to biodiversity decline.
Ex-Nike sustainability lead: Business climate activism can sway policy
Amid the growing climate movement among citizens, brands can now use changing consumer demands as a foundation to shape green policy, Nike's former vice-president of sustainable business and innovation Cyrus Wadia has claimed.
‘A significant improvement’: Government unveils Future Homes vision
Triple glazing, buildings fabrics that limit heat loss, low-carbon heating systems and onsite generation assets will likely be mandatory requirements for new homes, after the Government unveiled its vision for a Future Homes Standard (FHS).
'We can beat the sceptics': Boris Johnson bolsters net-zero commitment in Tory conference speech
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used his platform at the Conservative Party conference to argue that the UK is primed to lead the global transition to net-zero emissions by mid-century.
Brexit 'could help UK to reverse solar VAT hike', Conservatives claim
Leaving the EU with a Brexit deal could help the UK Government reverse its recent VAT hike on domestic solar and energy storage, a Conservative MP and former MEP has claimed.
UK Government will continue to invest in fossil fuels overseas, despite MPs' concerns
The Government has broadly rejected a string of recommendations from MPs aimed at decarbonising the portfolio of the UK's export credit agency, which has continually been found to be financing fossil fuel projects in developing nations.
Conservatives focus on nuclear and EVs in net-zero vision for 2050
The Conservative Party has unveiled its manifesto for a net-zero carbon economy, which includes commitments to plant more than one million trees and sets aside £1bn for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, but fails to match Labour's ambition in pushing the 2050 timeframe forward.
Post-Brexit threats to green policy intensifying, think tank warns
UK think tank Greener UK has warned that threats to environmental regulations related to climate change, waste, air quality and natural resources are escalating due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Scotland Climate Bill: MSPs unanimously back 2045 net-zero target
Scottish MSPs have voted 113 to 0 to back the introduction of a new Climate Bill, committing the nation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.
Mission Possible: Achieving net-zero carbon in Utilities
Following the UK's world-leading commitment to reach net- zero emissions by 2050, this insight report investigates how the utilities sector can radically reduce carbon whilst enabling and empowering its customers to do the same.
Labour commits to 2030 net-zero target as part of Green New Deal
Labour Party members have backed a pledge to reduce greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2030 - two decades earlier that the government's current target.
Labour to commit to big increase in charging points for electric cars
Labour will build a national network of charging points for electric vehicles at a cost of £3.6bn to kickstart its planned "green industrial revolution" if elected, the party will say today (23 September).
Green Deal branded 'hallmark' of new European Commission
"I want the European Green Deal to become Europe's hallmark," said European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, as she tasked her second-in-command with overseeing Europe's goal of achieving climate neutrality by mid-century.
Yellowhammer: No-deal Brexit would undermine domestic oil industry, official document reveals
A no-deal Brexit would likely result in the closure of two UK oil refineries, along with petrol shortages and higher electricity prices, the Government's so-called Yellowhammer dossier has revealed.
International allies give go-ahead for UK to host COP26
The UK last night (10 September) formally received the backing of all countries responsible for agreeing on the host of the COP26 climate conference.
Report: World 'gravely' unprepared for effects of climate crisis
The world's readiness for the inevitable effects of the climate crisis is "gravely insufficient", according to a new report from global leaders.
EU countries have 'no concrete plans' to phase out fossil fuel subsidies: report
Not a single EU member state has so far spelled out a comprehensive plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, despite a commitment taken at the G20 ten years ago to eliminate them, according to a fresh analysis of the bloc's 28 National Energy and Climate Plans.
Green groups joined by 17,500 citizens in calls to overturn domestic solar VAT hike
More than 17,000 UK citizens have signed a petition calling on the UK Government to scrap proposed plans to increase the VAT on household solar and storage from 5% to 20%.
Jo Johnson quits Ministerial role at BEIS
Jo Johnson has stepped down from his role as under-secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), just six weeks after his appointment.
September Spending Round: Javid promises green 'infrastructure revolution'
Sajid Javid has committed to helping the Government fund a green "infrastructure revolution" during his first solo Commons speech since becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Scottish government unveils swathe of green initiatives
The Scottish government has pledged to ensure that, by 2024, all new homes must use renewable or low-carbon heat.
Meeting net-zero requires 'rapidly escalating' carbon pricing, corporate leaders urge
Senior sustainability representatives at major corporates have called on national governments to implement "meaningful and rapidly-escalating" carbon pricing, in order to support businesses on the road to net-zero.
Civic and business leaders publish 12-point plan for Scotland to address climate emergency
A group of civic and business leaders, including representatives from Scottish Land & Estates, Changeworks and Scottish Renewables, has called on the Scottish Government to champion healthy diets, fix land use and target low-carbon vehicles and buildings to address the climate emergency.
IEMA: Funding cuts threatening UK's green spaces and biodiversity
Government funding for bodies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and National Parks has fallen steeply in recent years, leaving the UK at risk of failing to meet key green policy objectives.
The 10 clean growth policy 'shortfalls' and how to address them, according to MPs
The Science and Technology Committee has published a new report warning that the UK isn't remotely close to reaching upcoming carbon budgets up to 2032, outlining 10 key policy areas that need to be addressed if the UK is to deliver on its net-zero ambitions.
Defra takes first step towards sustainable food system transformation
The Department for Food, the Environment and Rurual Affairs (Defra) has opened the first public consultation on its upcoming National Food Strategy, which aims address issues of environmental sustainability and nutrition across the food value chain.
Lord Ian Duncan appointed to BEIS, completing Department's new ministerial line-up
Lord Ian Duncan has been appointed as the UK's Minister for Climate Change, completing the new line-up at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
MPs join calls for onshore wind policy overhaul
A coalition of 130 MPs, including 35 from the Conservative Party, has called on Boris Johnson to alter the UK's planning and energy policies to better support the growth of onshore wind.
UK Resources & Waste Strategy: A blueprint for business leadership
This edie insight guide provides sustainability and environmental professionals with a detailed breakdown of all of the key elements of the UK Government's Resources and Waste Strategy, and what they mean for business.
Water resources infrastructure policy due this Autumn
The government has completed a consultation period and is preparing to deliver its National Policy Statement (NPS) for Water Resources Infrastructure in the Autumn.
Raise car fuel prices to fight air pollution, says right-wing thinktank
Vehicle fuel taxes should rise to combat the air pollution crisis in the UK, with an extra charge on diesel, according to the conservative thinktank Bright Blue.
Post-Brexit environment watchdog must be transparent, green groups urge
A coalition of almost 40 environmental organisations including Greenpeace, WWF UK and ClientEarth is calling for the Draft Environment Bill to be altered, to ensure that the public can request disclosure from the UK's post-Brexit watchdog.
Government doubles funding for on-street EV charging
The Department for Transport (DfT) has today (12 August) announced that it will provide an extra £2.5m of funding for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure on residential streets, bringing its total investment since 2017 to £5m.
Utility giants urge stronger onshore wind policy support on road to net-zero
Scottish Power and SSE are among the big-name utility companies to have signed a letter urging the UK Government to implement greater policy support for onshore wind in light of its new net-zero target.
UK needs sustainability act to avert economic collapse, says IPPR
Britain needs an overarching new sustainability law to bolster natural life-support systems and prevent economic and social collapse, according to proposals from one of the country's most influential left-wing think tanks.
Business leaders put pressure on Boris Johnson over next net-zero steps
Members of the Aldersgate Group have today (1 August) jointly sent a green policy manifesto to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, outlining the next steps they'd like him to take on bolstering the UK's 2050 net-zero target.
Johnson's green credentials and London Climate Action Week: Top 10 sustainability stories of July 2019
As July comes to a close, we take a look back at a month packed full of sustainability and energy news. This round up includes Boris Johnson's green credentials, what his cabinet reshuffle means for sustainable business, and Paul Polman's new venture.
Swedish lessons: Can data management enable the UK to deliver a net-zero economy?
The UK's net-zero climate target has been widely welcomed, but is currently lacking some actual points of delivery. Fortunately, Sweden's own net-zero target can teach politicians some interesting lessons, including how big data and digitisation can mobilise action plans.
Reeves grills Leadsom on net-zero preparations
Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, has grilled BEIS's new Secretary Andrea Leadsom over her sector-specific plans for helping the UK to reach net-zero by 2050.
Boris Johnson insists climate change at the 'absolute core' of Government
Boris Johnson pledged to place tackling climate change at the "absolute core" of the Government's actions during his first appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister.
George Eustice re-appointed to Defra by Boris Johnson
George Eustice MP has been given back his former role as Agriculture Minister by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after leaving the post in February.
The Green Brexit Matrix: What do the different outcomes mean for environmental policy?
With Boris Johnson entering number 10 as the new Prime Minister, the likelihood of a no deal Brexit has increased. This download, originally published in April, explores the potential exit scenarios and the impacts they will have on UK sustainability, energy and environment policy.
Cabinet reshuffle: Theresa Villiers replaces Michael Gove as Environment Secretary
Theresa Villiers last night (24 July) returned to Government by taking over from Michael Gove as UK Environment Secretary, as part of a radical change of cabinet from new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Cabinet reshuffle: Andrea Leadsom replaces Greg Clark as Business Secretary, Claire Perry becomes COP26 President
Former Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom last night (24 July) replaced Greg Clark as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), while Energy Minister Claire Perry has relinquished her role and has been named President of the UK's COP26 climate talks.
Six huge challenges Boris Johnson must tackle, according to the green economy
With Boris Johnson winning the race to become the new Prime Minister, edie has reached out to the green economy experts to create a six-pillar wishlist that could drive the UK's climate aspiration to unprecedented heights.
CCS, food waste and deposit return schemes: Recapping a week of major green policy announcements
As Boris Johnson settles into his first day as the UK Prime Minister, Defra, the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have released a flurry of documents to strengthen approaches to environmental regulation, energy policy and packaging production.
The next Prime Minister: Exploring Boris Johnson's enigmatic views on the environment
Boris Johnson, the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has been announced as the new Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon (24 July). But what are his views on climate change, the environment, and sustainability?
H&M, Primark and Arcadia back new Parliamentary group on sustainable fashion
A coalition of big-name fashion retailers, as well as charities and academics, have voiced their support for a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) working to make the UK's fashion sector more sustainable.
Energy regulator 'out of touch over climate crisis', say businesses
The UK energy regulator is under fire for failing to prioritise the climate emergency as it draws up plans for Britain's energy system.
Environmental damage of tourism comes under MPs' spotlight
Holidaymakers' responsibility for foul beaches, overcrowding, traffic, aeroplane emissions and other environmental impacts will come under parliamentary scrutiny.
UK launches Clean Maritime Strategy to spur net-zero ambitions
The UK Government has announced a new maritime strategy, calling for all new vessels to be designed with zero-emissions capable technologies by 2025.
EU Council calls on Member States to embed SDGs in national strategies
The Council of the European Union (EU) is urging the bloc and its member states to place the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework at the heart of their national and international environmental and economic strategies.
CCC: Policy gaps leaving business unable to manage climate risks
None of the UK's largest 33 sectors have made good progress in improving the way they manage climate risk over the past 12 months, largely due to poor policy support.
MPs urge Government to address 'ecological crisis'
After research revealed that tree planting was the biggest and cheapest way to mitigate climate change, a new cross-party campaign had called on the UK Government to combat the "ecological crises" in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Government commission necessary for 'just' transition to net-zero, trade unions argue
A coalition of trade unions have urged the UK Government to create a cross-party commission focused on ensuring that the transition to net-zero by 2050 is socially and economically "just".
Official EU petition calls for minimum carbon price
The European Commission has registered an official petition that calls on the EU executive to set up a minimum carbon price, "discourage the consumption of fossil fuels" and keep global warming to below 1.5C.
Environmental Audit Committee to quiz government on net-zero targets
A fresh inquiry into the government's net-zero carbon emissions targets will be undertaken by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
UK to put climate crisis and environment at the heart of overseas aid
The UK will have an "ethical" development policy that puts the climate emergency and environmental protection at the heart of overseas aid, with more than £190m to be spent directly on climate-related issues in the first initiative, the Government has announced.
Ed Miliband: Social justice 'crucial' in meeting net-zero
The UK will not meet its 2050 net-zero goal unless decarbonisation policies are "explicityl and intrinsically" linked to the creation of a more socially equal society, former Labour leader Ed Miliband has argued.
Conservative MPs set out green manifesto urging more eco-friendly policies
Fracking should be banned, the UK must take global leadership on the climate emergency and a royal commission should decide how to build homes in an environmentally sustainable manner, an influential group of Conservative MPs has said.
London Mayor calls for Green New Deal for the UK
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the UK Government to implement a US-style Green New Deal - a move he claims will help move climate-related policy discussions past talk and towards action.
UK unveils Green Finance Strategy to drive progress towards net-zero goal
The UK Government has unveiled its highly anticipated Green Finance Strategy, outlining how the finance sector and better climate disclosure from corporates can drive progress towards wider action on climate change and the push towards net-zero emissions.
EU leftists demand 'climate emergency' Parliament committee
The European Parliament's leftist group (GUE/NGL) has proposed setting up a special climate emergency parliamentary committee to shift the spotlight on to green issues even more over the next five years.
It's official: UK sets net-zero target into law
The UK has made history by officially enshrining a net-zero emissions target for 2050 into UK law, after MPs unanimously supported the decision.
The Time is Now: Climate campaigners lobby for change outside Parliament
Thousands of campaigners across the UK are marching towards Parliament in a bid to urge MPs and the Government to strengthen commitments to tackling climate change, just days after the House of Commons approved draft recommendations for a national net-zero target.
G20 nations triple coal power subsidies despite climate crisis
G20 nations have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis.
Charities launch legal challenge over 'unlawful' Brexit wildlife risk
ClientEarth and the Marine Conservation Society have launched a High Court challenge over the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra's) changes to Brexit negotiations, which potentially limit the types of areas set aside for marine protection.
Food and drink giants press for long-term policies on decarbonisation and circularity
A collection of more than 30 organisations across the UK's food and drink supply chain have urged Ministers to bolster policies around long-term decarbonisation, climate resilience and resource efficiency for the sector.