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Secretary Theresa Villiers has been sacked and replaced by George Eustice, while Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has been replaced by International Development Secretary Alok Sharma, who has also been named as COP26 President.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.
EU reaches milestone by agreeing on green criteria for finance
MEPs and the Finnish presidency of the EU Council have agreed on a taxonomy to determine what economic activities can be considered 'green', paving the way for billions of euros to be invested to fight climate change.
General election: Which parliamentary candidates have made climate pledges?
Of the 3,006 individuals running to be elected as MPs at next week's general election, more than one-third have pledged to consider climate impacts in every vote they would cast in Parliament. But which parties have been most keen to take up the commitment?
Lord Deben chides politicians for failing to act on decarbonisation of heat
The major Westminster parties are showing insufficient urgency about efforts to decarbonise heat, the chair of the government's climate change watchdog has warned.
'Set legally binding net-zero target now', investors urge EU leaders
A coalition of more than 40 investors collectively representing upwards of €6trn of assets under management has written to all EU heads of state, urging them to set legislation in line with net-zero by 2050 or sooner.
Greta's arrival and carbon offsetting clashes: What happened on days 2 & 3 of COP25?
COP25 - the UN's annual two-week-long climate summit - is now well underway in Madrid. Here, edie rounds up all the key news and views from the second and third days of the event.
Carbon pricing and 'the climate point of no return': What's happened at COP25 so far?
Monday (2 December) marked the start of COP25 - the UN's annual two-week-long climate summit - in Madrid. Here, edie rounds up all the key news and views from the first day of the event.
'Prosperity for All': Wales unveils new short-term climate vision
The Welsh Government has published its much-anticipated climate roadmap for 2020-2025, which includes a commitment to plant 2,000 hectares of woodland annually.
Election debates and net-zero campaigns: The top 10 sustainability stories of November 2019
With COP25 and Christmas now on the horizon, we take a look back at a November packed full of sustainability and energy news. This round-up includes all the highlights from edie's Net Zero November campaign and the build-up to the UK general election.
Johnson frozen out of climate leaders debate as green groups call for net-zero pact between parties
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson quite literally frozen out of the leader's climate debate last night, more than 40 academics, policy specialists, trade bodies and businesses have called for a bipartisan net-zero pact between the UK political parties in order to ensure the nation meets its commitments.
General election: How UK parties are addressing 9 key net-zero challenges
Ahead of Channel 4's leaders debate on climate change, representatives from the UK's four largest parties met in London to set out their plans for net-zero. Here, edie rounds up the key takeaways.
General Election 2019 manifesto matrix: What have the parties said on net-zero and the environment?
Two weeks out from the General Election and on the day of the live televised climate debate between party leaders, edie has launched a policy manifesto matrix, outlining all the key commitments - and some notable omissions - that the Conservatives, Labour, Green Party and Liberal Democrats have issued.
edie's General Election 2019 green policy manifesto matrix
edie has launched a policy manifesto matrix, outlining all the key commitments – and some notable omissions – that the Conservatives, Labour, Green Party and Liberal Democrats have issued.
Net-zero by 2025 'practically impossible' due to spiralling costs, report finds
Moving the UK's net-zero emission target forward 25 years is "practically impossible", according to new thinktank research which found that setting a net-zero target for 2025 would cost £200bn each year at a minimum - more than the NHS's annual budget.
Europe's climate-related investments lagging, EIB warns
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has used its latest annual investment report to warn that financing for green projects across the EU is "lagging" behind levels recorded in markets such as China and the US.
Conservatives confirm plastic export ban and £9bn energy improvements in manifesto
The Conservatives have finally unveiled their party manifesto, which commits to ban plastic exports outside of developed countries, a multi-billion pound energy efficiency scheme for homes and a promise to "go carbon neutral by 2050 and Corbyn neutral by Christmas".
Less than one in 25 Brits think politicians tell the truth on climate change, survey finds
A survey of more than 2,000 adults living in the UK has found that less than one in 25 believe politicians can be trusted to give accurate facts around climate change.
Report: EU set to miss all 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Almost every nation within the EU is failing to deliver the amount of progress needed for the bloc to meet any of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a "major" lack of progress recorded against SDG 13, Climate Action.
Boris Johnson set to snub election leaders' debate on climate crisis
The first ever election leaders' debate focusing on the climate crisis will be broadcast by Channel 4 next week, with the prime minister the only major party leader set to be absent.
Green Industrial Revolutions and Climate Emergency Bills: What's in Labour's manifesto?
The Labour party has today (21 November) launched its election manifesto, outlining how a Green New Deal, Green Industrial Revolution and a Climate Emergency Bill will put the UK on the cusp of a net-zero economy and drive economic growth through a green transition.
General Election: Can UK policy deliver a climate emergency response?
As the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party launch election manifestos pledging to respond to the climate emergency by 2030, leading UK green group the Aldersgate Group has called for existing policy frameworks to be revamped to help reach the net-zero target for 2050.
UK Government's spending on trees 'has plummeted by £20m since 2015'
The UK Government spent almost £20m less on tree planting in the financial year 2017-18 than it did in 2014-15, according to an analysis of official figures by Friends of the Earth (FotE).
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.