Green Policy

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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.

The Budget sets the building block for natural and technological climate solutions, but the hard yards are ahead to reach net-zero Image: Rishi Sunak

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.

The Budget is the first since the UK set its 2050 net-zero target, and may be the last before the nation hosts COP26. Image: Rishi Sunak

'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.

The Budget outlined numerous focus areas for the Government's net-zero approach 

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.

Sunak has said that decarbonisation and nature protection will receive headline mentions in this week's Budget - but green groups have urged the Treasury to go further and faster. Image: Rishi Sunak

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.

The report found that 46,000 jobs are expected to be in the north of England

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.

The call for action is in response to projections that the UK is set to miss its fourth and fifth carbon budgets

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.

Next week’s Budget will likely provide an indication of areas of focus for the NIS

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.

New COP President Alok Sharma will also be quizzed next week

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.

The built environment sector is regarded as one of the UK’s hardest-to-abate sectors, accounting for around 40% of national annual energy consumption and 33% of national annual emissions

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.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) met with Greta Thunberg today

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".

Major efforts are taking place to ensure that decarbonisation occurs in both transport and heat

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.

While praising progress to date, the report highlights the gap between current policy results and those needed to meet the fifth carbon budget

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.

The Scout Moor Wind Farm (pictured) is England's second-largest onshore wind array - but the changes to policy could bolster the pipeline of developments in the coming months and years

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.

Truss's objectives paper explicitly mentions the environment 180 times - but is it ambitious enough to meet the twin challenges of the climate and nature emergencies?

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.

Parts of Italy - the co-host for the summit - are currently closed to all-but-essential travel over the outbreak 

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.

Kwarteng also announced that the Government would consult on issuing tougher EPC standards for private-owner landlords

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.

A major concern for policymakers is the risk that businesses and industry will up sticks if the costs are too high

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.

Judges have said that the third runway could go ahead, provided it fits in with the UK’s climate commitments

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.

Defra has called the Bill "gold standard" - but several key green groups believe it needs further strengthening

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.

The Group’s first-ever reference to global heating signals growing economic concerns over climate change

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.

The plan will aim to protect a percentage of the Earth's land and sea

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.

The 2018 London Plan touted net-zero by 2050, but Khan has vowed to bring the deadline to 2030 if re-elected

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.

Policymakers have been facing calls for shorter-term roadmaps to help decarbonise homes in line with its 2050 target.

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".

Before departing in February, Eustice had been in Defra since October 2013

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).

(Top-left to bottom-right): Alok Sharma; Rishi Sunak; George Eustice; Andrea Leadsom; Sajid Javid; and Theresa Villiers have all been in in the spotlight as Boris Johnson wields the axe at his Cabinet

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.   

Sharma has a busy 10 months ahead. Image: Gov.uk

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.

The panel included representatives from the finance, environmental services, engineering, cement, food manufacturing and retail sectors. Image: Aldersgate Group

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?

The new COP26 president will be announced this week, with Gove tipped as one of the fore-runners

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.

Javid will unveil his first Budget on 11 March. Image: Creative Britain, OGL v1.0

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.

The draft Budget was published on Thursday (6 February), building on Scotland's 2019 Climate Change policy package

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.

The move would see the price of beef increase by 47 cents per 100 grams. Stock photo

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.

The trade body has set out recommendations for tackling fuel poverty, energy waste in homes and businesses and protecting vulnerable customers on the road to net-zero

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.

Image: NI Assembly

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'.

The analysis forecasts inadequate emissions reductions across sectors including energy, transport and the built environment. Image: The coal-fired Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station. Roger Kidd, CC BY 2.0

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.

The report highlights the potential environmental impact of scaling up biomass supply chains

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.

This round-up documents how businesses and policymakers are driving progress across all areas of sustainable development 

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.

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

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.

The report by Carbon Tracker, a financial thinktank, warns that sudden changes in policy in the future could halve the value of fossil fuel investments

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.

Pictured: The Bełchatów Power Station in Poland. Image: CC BY 3.0/Unfortunately Named

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.

Trade deals are the biggest stumbling block for new green policies

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.

£3.7bn is equivalent to around 3% of the NHS's annual spend. Image: Francis Tyers, CC BY 3.0 

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.

Dunne has served as MP for almost 15 years, dedicating much of his time to policy around farming, health, defence and finance 

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.

 edie rounds up the commentary on key areas of the Environment Bill

'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.

A Drax spokeswoman said the company’s ambition was to be removing, not adding carbon to the atmosphere, by 2030

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.

The Bill confirms that the OEP will cover all climate change legislation, including the commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

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.

Pictured: The Cottam coal power station, which ceased generation in September 2019. Image: EDF 

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.

The Coalition represents more than 50 organisations, including businesses, NGOs and think tanks 

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.

The document builds on the CCC's broad net-zero advice issued last May. Pictured: Sheep farming in Scotland 

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.

ONS employment figures show that the UK is home to more "green-collar" jobs than in 2015, but fewer than in 2014 

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.

The Bill was initiailly introduced in October 2018, then delayed over the Brexit process. Image: Brian Forbes CC BY 2.0 

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.

Image: Ardfern, CC BY 3.0 

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.

The much-anticipated fund was unveiled on Tuesday 

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.

Beanland said the higher levies imposed on electricity supply vis-a-vis gas also needs to be addressed by policymakers

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.

30,000 invites were sent for the assembly 

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.

Pictured (L-R):  Journalist Charlotte Smith, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, NFU president Minette Batters and Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett. Image: Oxford Farming Conference

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.

Have your say on what the 'hot topics' in the UK's sustainability sphere could be in 2020

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.

Scotland is targeting net-zero by 2045, five years ahead of England. Image: Brian Forbes, CC-BY-2.0 

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.


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