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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Does the Budget put the UK on course for net-zero emissions?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak's first Budget was brimming with green funding for natural climate solutions and carbon capture and storage (CCS), but key spending reviews and strategies on the horizon will clarify whether these will act as the launchpad for a net-zero carbon economy.
'A mixed picture': Key green economy figures react to the Budget's environmental provisions
After Chancellor Rishi Sunak opened his red budget box to reveal fresh funding for natural climate solutions and carbon capture and storage (CCS), edie rounds up what key green economy leaders make of the new financial measures for the net-zero transition.
Clean transport, CCS and biodiversity championed in Budget 2020
BREAKING: Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today (11 March) unveiled a multi-billion-pound package to push the UK towards the net-zero emissions target in his first Budget - but has faced criticism for failing to end fuel duty freezes or cut roads spending.
Budget: Green groups urge £33bn annual investment to meet UK's net-zero target
Ahead of Wednesday's (11 March) Budget, green groups have put forward their key asks for Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Here, edie rounds up the calls to action - including recent IPPR analysis claiming that £33bn more must be spent annually on decarbonisation to meet the 2050 net-zero target.
Comprehensive net-zero strategy could increase UK green jobs by 85%
The UK Government can deliver an 85% increase in renewable and clean technology jobs in a decade by implementing better taxation systems and outlining a roadmap for net-zero emissions, a new report from the REA has found.
Businesses call on Prime Minister to accelerate climate action
Business giants including Unilever, Tesco, Sky and Coca-Cola have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to develop a clear strategy that will set out a pathway to achieving the net-zero emissions target for 2050 that enables businesses to understand their role in delivering the national ambition.
National Infrastructure Strategy delay could spark net-zero planning focus
Reports have emerged that the Government's long-awaited 30-year National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS) is to be delayed again, citing beliefs that the £100bn strategy could be revamped to account for the UK's net-zero emissions target.
Multiple House of Lords committees launch climate change inquiries
Five House of Lords committees will quiz government representatives and external climate experts on topics ranging from internal carbon markets to climate impacts on migration, in a bid to strengthen preparations for the COP 26 climate summit.
Government urged (again) to revamp low-carbon homes plan
The Government has yet again been urged to reconsider proposed approaches to energy efficiency in housebuilding, after a coalition of councils urged Ministers to remove restrictions that would inhibit higher standards being set.
EU debuts climate law 'compass', Greta dismisses it as 'surrender'
The European Commission officially unveiled its Climate Law on Wednesday (4 March), aimed at making the EU carbon neutral by 2050. But Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg criticised the plan as a "surrender".
E10 petrol, hydrogen and biomethane: Is the UK on the cusp of low-carbon heat and transport?
As the UK Government consults on a low-carbon fuel mix for petrol stations, two industry associations have called for refined government policy to enable the uptake of hydrogen and biomethane use to help decarbonise heat and transport.
Report: UK needs to more than double carbon reductions to hit 2030 climate target
The UK will have to more than double the rate it is currently reducing CO2 emissions in order to meet its 2030 target, despite strong progress in 2019, a report by Carbon Brief has found.
Government announces major overhaul to UK's onshore wind subsidies
Updated: The UK Government has reversed its decision to effectively ban onshore wind, solar and energy storage from competing in the Contracts for Difference (CfD) rounds, following calls for a review to its renewables policy framework in light of the net-zero target.
From climate action to chlorinated chicken: How will a US-UK trade deal impact the environment?
After International Trade Secretary Liz Truss kick-started UK-US negotiations for post-Brexit trade deals, edie explores how a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US could impact progress towards the UK's net-zero target and affect other environmental standards.
Vital COP26 climate talks could be derailed by coronavirus
Concern is growing among campaigners that vital UN climate talks will be derailed by the coronavirus outbreak, while government officials are working to find ways round the problem.
The Heathrow domino: Is Government nearing the promised land of joined-up climate policy?
The Government has long been urged to approach climate change through the lens of coherent, joined-up thinking and during a 'year of climate action' in the UK the first Heathrow-shaped domino may just have fallen to kickstart a new approach to climate policy.
UK Government hints at RHI extension
Energy and Clean Growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng has claimed the Government is "absolutely committed" to exploring new support mechanisms for low-carbon heat in the UK once the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) expires in March 2021.
Stage set for EU-UK tussle over green credentials
Trade talks between the EU and the UK start next week, with thorny issues like state aid and fish set to complicate matters. A fight brewing over environmental standards may make an agreement by year's end even more difficult to come by.
Government won't appeal Heathrow expansion court decision
UPDATED: The UK Government will not appeal a court decision to block the development of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, which was issued in response to climate change concerns and national targets aligned to the Paris Agreement.
Environment Bill: Green groups' five key asks for a 'gold standard' nature emergency response
Ahead of the Government's debate on the reformed Environment Bill, green groups from across the UK have called on Ministers to ensure it provides an emergency response to the twin climate and nature crises - without damaging the economy.
G20 sounds alarm over climate emergency despite US objections
The G20 group of the world's wealthiest nations have agreed for the first time to collectively sound the alarm over the threat to the financial system posed by the climate emergency.
Negotiations start on global 'Paris-style' deal to avert Earth's sixth mass extinction
National governments will meet in Rome this week to discuss and reflect on a 20-point UN draft proposal to halt irreversible ecological damage, which looks set to be formally adopted in October.
Sadiq Khan sets up £50m fund to bring London to net-zero
London mayor Sadiq Khan is to spend £50m on a Green New Deal for London as part of a pledge to make the UK capital carbon neutral by 2030.
Government opposes 'powerless' energy efficiency proposals
The government has rejected calls to beef up its target of getting all homes to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C standard by 2035 - while signalling that its own heat policy road map will be published "very soon".
From fruit farmer to Environment Secretary: George Eustice to spearhead Defra
George Eustice has become the seventh Environment Secretary since 2010, after replacing Theresa Villiers who was sacked as part of Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle today (13 February).
Cabinet reshuffle: All the key personnel changes that will impact the green economy
BREAKING: Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has been sacked and replaced by George Eustice, while Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has been replaced by International Development Secretary Alok Sharma, who has also been named as COP26 President.
Alok Sharma: What we know about the COP26 President's views on climate change
In an unexpected announcement, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has been replaced by International Development Secretary Alok Sharma, who has also been named as COP26 President. Here, edie examines Sharma's track record on climate legislation to date.
Carbon trading clarity and citizens in the spotlight: What do businesses want from COP26?
With a successor to the COP26 presidency role yet to be announced, all eyes are on Westminster for news on its plans for organising the crucial summit. But - beyond a stable delivery team - what are UK business's big asks of the conference, both in terms of organisation and execution?
Michael Gove urges 'most transparent ever COP' for Glasgow
Former Environment Secretary Michael Gove has laid out his big asks for COP26 preparations and denied rumours that he will replace former Energy Minister Claire O'Neill as the event's president during this week's cabinet reshuffle.
Reports: Budget to include new energy efficiency and EV subsidies to spur net-zero progress
Chancellor Sajid Javid is mulling a string of new subsidies to reduce building and transport emissions from homeowners and public sector organisations for next month's Budget, it has been reported.
Scotland Budget outlines multi-million-pound pots for net-zero heat and agriculture
The Scottish Government has this week published its draft 2020-21 Budget, which sets aside millions of pounds for ocean conservation and decarbonising sectors such as heat and agriculture.
EU lawmakers voice support for meat tax to cover environmental costs of livestock
A new report commissioned by the Dutch True Animal Protein Price Coalition (TAPP) suggests that retail price of meat does not reflect the environmental costs associated with its production, and calls for a "sustainability charge" on meat.
Energy UK calls for tax-funded energy efficiency scheme
Trade body Energy UK has proposed that general taxation is used to fund a national energy efficiency programme.
Northern Ireland declares 'climate emergency' as UK moves coal phase-out forward
In the same week that the UK Government announced green policy changes around coal and electric vehicles, the Northern Ireland Assembly has declared a 'climate emergency'.
UK set to breach fifth carbon budget, despite setting net-zero goal
The UK is still set to miss its fifth carbon budget despite the creation of a legally-binding net-zero target for 2050 last year, new analysis has found.
Report: UK Government's net-zero plans 'over-reliant' on biomass and carbon capture
The UK Government is over-prioritising carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and biomass in its net-zero plans and failing to account for the impact these technologies could have on land use.
BMJ's divestment campaign and India's net-zero trains: 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.
Carbon-negativity and climate chats at Davos: The sustainability stories of January 2020
With Valentine's Day and the first climate strike of the year now on the horizon, we take a look back at a January packed full of sustainability and energy news. This round-up includes the World Economic Forum in Davos and all the highlights from edie's Mission Possible Plastics Week.
Change climate policy now to avert oil market crisis, warns thinktank
The oil industry is at risk of a global market shock that could halve the value of fossil fuel investments if governments delay setting policies to tackle the climate crisis, according to new analysis.
EU could use carbon border tax against Brexit Britain, warns MEP
The EU could deploy a carbon border tax against the UK after Brexit, according to the head of the European Parliament's environment committee, if Westminster diverges from bloc rules on issues like carbon markets.
Brexit day: What (if anything) changes for the green economy?
At 11pm tonight (31 January) the UK will formally leave the European Union (EU), and while Big Ben won't be bonging and passports won't turn blue until Summer, the landmark day will usher in a period of intense trading negotiations that could impact green policy in the UK.
Report: Stronger green policies for transport and homes would save NHS £3.7bn each year
By implementing stronger policies around walking, cycling, electric vehicles and energy efficiency in homes, the Government could save the NHS at least £3.7bn per year.
Former defence and health Minister Philip Dunne elected as EAC chair
Philip Dunne MP has become the new chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), after previous chair Mary Creagh lost her seat as MP for Wakefield in December's general election.
'A much-need overhaul': Green groups react to revamped Environment Bill
Green groups have welcomed the reintroduction of the Government's 'gold standard' Environment Bill today (30 January), noting that it could be "truly transformative" if it is able to set out legal guarantees on the delivery of a raft of new policy commitments.
UK sued for approving Europe's biggest gas power station
The UK government is being sued for approving a large new gas-fired power plant, overruling the climate change objections of its own planning authority.
UK Government's 'gold standard' Environment Bill reintroduced
The UK Government's long-awaited Environment Bill has finally been reintroduced to Parliament, outlining powers to stop the exports of plastic waste to developing countries, and revamped governance systems on clean air and biodiversity and two-yearly reviews to update the Bill if required.
Report: Emissions trading reached record €194bn high in 2019
Globally, turnover related to emissions trading rose 34% year-on-year in 2019 to reach €194bn (£163bn), new research has revealed.
Green Economy Tracker: New digital tool aims to help nations transition to greener economic systems
The Green Economy Coalition - an alliance of big-name businesses, NGOs and researchers - has today (23 January) unveiled a new tool which will help nations measure and accelerate their transitions to economic systems which are more environmentally friendly and socially fair.
All change for forestry and food systems: CCC calls for 'major' land-use shift to meet net-zero
The way in which land is used in the UK accounted for 12% of national emissions in 2017, meaning that agri-food systems will need to be "rapidly" changed to ensure that the Government's legally binding net-zero target is met.
Latest Government figures spark fears that UK's green economy is 'stagnating'
The latest Government figures reveal that turnover in the UK's low-carbon economy was £46.7bn in 2018, up from £40.5bn in 2015. But the 2018 figure is still equivalent to just 1% of national non-financial turnover, experts have warned.
Agriculture Bill introduced, outlining sweeping post-Brexit environmental measures
The Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs' (Defra) Agriculture Bill has been introduced today (16 January), confirming the Government's plans for rewarding farmers that make environmental improvements and safeguarding green standards post-Brexit.
Green groups slam Government proposals to cut air passenger duty amid FlyBe rescue plans
Green groups have criticised Ministers for considering measures to cut air passenger duty on domestic return flights, accusing the government of placing short-term plans to rescue FlyBe from collapse over its long-term climate targets.
EU unveils €100bn fund for 'just' low-carbon transition - which excludes nuclear
The EU's regional policy Commissioner Elisa Ferreira revealed on Tuesday (14 January) details of the €100 billion Just Transition Mechanism, a key financial component of the European Green Deal that should make the bloc climate neutral by 2050.
Government urged to target one million heat pumps a year by 2035
The UK must invest in ground source heat pump infrastructure in the 2020s, just as previous generations ploughed money into the gas and water grid, in order to help kickstart the fledgling sector.
Citizens climate assembly panels finalised
Leading academics together with figures from industry, the environmental movement and thinktanks have been named as advisors for the upcoming UK citizen's assembly on climate change.
Villiers: Agriculture Bill will entail 'radical' shake-up of environmental standards
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has confirmed that an "updated" version of the Agriculture Bill will be introduced to Parliament this month, claiming that it will entail "radical" environmental overhauls for the sector.
VOTE: What will be the defining sustainability issue of 2020?
With many of us heading back to the office for our first day at work in 2020 this week, edie has explored the environmental issues which could dominate sustainability conversations this year - and is giving you the chance to have your say.
WWF: Scottish farmers can align with net-zero without ditching beef
Scotland's agriculture sector could slash emissions by more than one-third by 2045, if measures to boost carbon sequestration, improve animal health and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of fertiliser are implemented.
Chancellor vows to prioritise the environment as Budget date set
Chancellor Sajid Javid has confirmed that the UK's next Budget will be held on 11 March, promising fresh spending across the nation's green economy.
Zac Goldsmith to remain as Environment Minister
Zac Goldsmith will continue to serve as Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs despite losing his seat as an MP in last week's general election.
Queen's Speech: Ministers urged to deliver on net-zero and plastics commitments
In her formal State Opening of Parliament this morning (19 December), the Queen urged ministers to deliver progress on the Government's net-zero goal ahead of COP26.
EU ministers opt to continue overfishing, despite 2020 deadline
Europe's fish populations will continue to be over-exploited despite a longstanding 2020 deadline for setting fishing quotas at sustainable levels, after ministers from across the EU forced through higher limits than scientists advised.
Boris Johnson bans UK Ministers from Davos 2020
After confirming that he would not be attending the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos next month personally, Boris Johnson has reportedly barred Ministers from appearing at the summit.
edie's big fat sustainabiliy quiz of the year: 2019 edition
Take edie's 2019 quiz of the year to test your knowledge on some of the biggest moments in the global sustainability agenda over the past 12 months.
School strikes, science-based targets and climate emergency declarations: Recapping the sustainability stories of 2019
With just one week left until Christmas, edie recaps what has been a mammoth year for sustainability stories - from the UK's net-zero target to the growing business movement towards 1.5C.
CCC: Scotland must 'immediately' increase net-zero action in preparation for COP26
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has issued its annual progress report to the Scottish Parliament, urging Ministers to "begin work immediately" on implementing short-term net-zero legislation.
EU 'confident' €100bn green transition fund will come to fruition
A draft €100bn "Just Transition Mechanism" outlined by the European Commission as part of its Green Deal last week will eventually see the light in January, EU officials have said. The amount of "fresh money" under the new fund is, however, expected to be limited.
Reports: Boris Johnson planning to scrap BEIS and re-instate DECC after Brexit
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning a sweeping array of reforms to key Government departments after his victory in last week's general election, including the reinstatement of a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), according to several reports.
'A far cry from what science tells us is needed': COP25 reaches 'disappointing' conclusion
Green campaign groups, UN officials and business representatives have expressed disappointment after two weeks of negotiations at COP25 came to a close today (15 December), almost two days behind schedule.
'Promises are not enough': Green economy reacts to Boris Johnson's historic election win
After the Conservative Party secured a landslide victory in the UK's general election, members of the nation's green economy are calling on Boris Johnson to turn the green ideations in his party's manifesto into action.
Committee on Climate Change chief issues warning for next government
The next government must be strong enough to make tough decisions as 2020 shapes up to be "critical" in the battle to cut emissions, the chief executive of parliament's climate change watchdog has warned.
General Election result: Conservative landslide victory raises fresh concerns for green economy
The results are in and Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has won the 2019 General Election with an historic landslide majority, prompting fresh concerns about the strength of environmental regulations in the UK post-Brexit.
Four green policy concerns Boris Johnson must address immediately
After achieving a Conservative Party majority in the 2019 General Election, Boris Johnson will now forge ahead with his Brexit plans. But, with climate and environmental standards featuring throughout the Party's manifesto, the returning Prime Minister will need to quickly address some key green policy concerns.
Green policies? Actions speak louder than words
Politicians now appear to be taking climate change seriously. Just like economic policies, we need to be asking politicians how they plan to achieve them.
Renewables: The policy vision for a net-zero future
The General Election is a huge opportunity for a new government to make a transformative difference to climate change through investment in renewables, Juliet Davenport, chief executive and founder of Good Energy suggests.
Europe's 'man on the moon moment': Green Deal to create world's first climate-neutral continent
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled 50 sweeping plans to enable the EU to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, claiming that the Green Deal was "more than just a vision, it is a roadmap for action".
General Election: The key green policy considerations for climate-focused voters
As the public takes to the polls tomorrow to decide the next Government, edie lists all the potential impacts and ramifications of short-term and long-term green policy in the UK, helping those still undecided to cast crucial votes.
Almost half of global GDP covered by net-zero targets and commitments
Around 40% of the world's annual GDP now derives from nations and regions that are discussing or have set legislative net-zero emissions targets, to be achieved by 2050 at the latest.
UN: Carbon-intensive businesses will lose trillions as climate policies tighten
Large oil and gas, metals and mining and heavy industry firms are likely to lose almost half (43%) of their value in the next decade, as nations introduce more stringent climate policies.