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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.

Sajid Javid's Review will be published in autumn 2020. Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Treasury launches Net-Zero Review to measure costs of decarbonisation

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has today (2 November) launched the Net-Zero Review, the first of its kind, which will assess how the UK can manage the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The deal is now subject to a vote in Parliament on Saturday

Brexit deal agreed: What does Boris Johnson's withdrawal plan mean for green policy?

The UK Government and the European Union (EU) have finally come to an agreement on Brexit, which could see the UK leave Union laws through a set of 'level playing field' commitments on the environment and workers rights. Here edie rounds up what is known amidst the confusion.

The new ECIU analysis shows that at least 34 companies with annual income above $1bn have set net-zero emissions targets

Report: Net-zero targets now cover one-sixth of global economy

Almost a sixth of the entire global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is now covered by net zero carbon emissions targets, according to a report.

Conservative Party leadership: What are the final five's records on environmental policy?

With the third ballot to determine the next leader of the Conservative Party taking place on 19 July, edie rounds up the environmental legacies and visions of each of the final 10 contenders in the race for No 10.

The Climate Change Act will now be amended to account for net-zero emissions by 2050

Prime Minister agrees legally binding net-zero emissions target for 2050

In one of her last acts as Prime Minister, Theresa May has confirmed that Parliament will implement the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change, creating a legally binding net-zero carbon target for 2050.

The past three years have seen climate change and plastics sky-rocket up the UK's policy agenda. Photo Flickr EU2017EE Estonian Presidency

Theresa May's green policy legacy: Environmental leader or lukewarm laggard?

After weeks of calls to resign from all sides of the House, Theresa May has today (24 May) confirmed that she will step down as Prime Minister next month after three years in power, opening the race for the next Conservative Party leader. Amid tabloid claims that her legacy will be solely based on failing to deliver Brexit, edie instead explores her impact on green policy.

The draft Environment Bill applies only to England and to reserved matters across the rest of the UK

Northern Ireland asks for greater post-Brexit environmental protection under Environment Bill

Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is calling on UK Ministers to amend the upcoming Environment Bill to ensure that it receives stronger environmental standards after Brexit.

Defra's George Eustice resigns over possible Article 50 delay

Agriculture Minister George Eustice has resigned today (28 February) over Brexit.

Environmental groups have tonight warned that a no-deal Brexit would have an immediate effect on the environment

Brexit: Green community warns of 'catastrophic' no-deal after Theresa May suffers historic defeat

Environmental experts have called on MPs to rule out 'no-deal' after Theresa May faced a crushing defeat on her Brexit deal this evening (15 January).

The launch of the scrappage scheme comes at a time when vehicles are estimated to account for almost half of London’s nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions

London Mayor unveils van scrappage scheme for small businesses

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has today (18 December) unveiled plans for a new £23m van scrappage scheme, aimed at helping small business owners switch from old diesel vehicles to low-carbon alternatives.

The business leaders note that the UK has acted as a leader on climate change since the publication of the Climate Change Act

Interface, Unilever and Coca-Cola among business leaders calling for UK net-zero emissions target

The chief executives of major UK-based companies including Interface, Coca-Cola European Partners and Unilever have called for Prime Minister Theresa May to set legally binding targets that ensure the UK reaches net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Gove has previously been supportive of May’s Chequers deal. Image: Chatham House

Michael Gove set to remain as Defra Secretary

Michael Gove will stay on at Defra after turning down the role of Brexit Secretary, according to reports.

edie has looked at the options on the table to explore the environmental implications of each potential Brexit deal

Brexit countdown: How the green economy could fare in each possible deal scenario

With Brexit negotiations hurtling towards an uncertain outcome, and many questions still unanswered, edie investigates how the UK's green agenda could be affected in each of the three most likely scenarios.

The Carbon Neutrality Coalition came out of the One Planet Summit in December 2017

UK commits to Carbon Neutrality Coalition to deliver net-zero emissions

Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that the UK will be joining 18 other countries that have committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the earliest, while also setting aside £160m to help developing nations transition to cleaner energy systems.

JLR boss warns Brexit could 'destroy' company's electric vision

Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) chief executive has issued a stark warning to Theresa May that a hard Brexit could cost his firm more than £1.2bn a year and "destroy" investment in electric vehicle (EV) production.

The £106m research fund aligns itself to various Government policies, namely the overarching Industrial Strategy and the Road to Zero strategy

Theresa May's £100m pledge: Will the UK lead the world on zero-emission transport?

The world's first zero-emission vehicle summit will be headlined by a £106m investment from the UK Government into low-emission vehicle development. But, how will the UK's transport ambitions fare in light of new EU legislation and continued uncertainty over post-Brexit trade deals?

The likes of Green Party's Caroline Lucas, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, Ed Davey and the Environmental Audit Committee’s chair Mary Creagh have backed the letter

More than 100 MPs back calls for net-zero emissions target

More than 100 MPs have now signed a letter calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to establish a net-zero emissions target for 2050.

The PM said that a new Environment Bill would help deliver “opportunities we think will be available to us in this area when we leave the EU”. Image: Raul Mee

Theresa May confirms UK will publish an Environment Bill

Theresa May has announced that the Government will introduce a new Environmental Bill that incorporates measures on air quality among a range of issues.

The report was unveiled at the House of Commons Photo: Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development

Government must embed SDGs into Brexit strategy, report urges

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be placed at the heart of the UK's Brexit strategy, according to a new report stating that government policy is performing inadequately across three-quarters of the targets listed under goals.

The letter lauded the “cross-party consensus” that exists on the issue of climate change and said the move would be popular

MPs and peers push for 'net zero' emissions by 2050

A cross-party group of senior MPs and peers have urged the government to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to "net zero" by 2050.

The UK Government will also aim to halve the energy costs for the existing building stock - both domestically and commercially

Theresa May unveils plan to halve building energy use by 2030

Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to halve the energy use from new buildings by 2030, as part of a speech that championed the role that science and technology will play in delivering the Government's Industrial Strategy.

Theresa May outlines plan to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a consultation will take place later this year to prepare England for a national ban on plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

We have a problem and a lot of plastics

Plastic is everywhere: it is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, it is the food we eat and in the clothes we wear. We have a plastics pollution problem, leaching into our environment and finding its way into our marine environment, being swept up to the Arctic, ingested by marine life causing harm, polluting our waterways and reducing the aesthetic value of the places we love the most. How we manage plastics is a serious issue, but things just got a bit more complicated.

The UK’s own environment officials estimated that meeting ambitious recycling targets would bring benefits totalling billions of pounds

UK opposes strong EU recycling targets despite plastics pledge

The UK government is opposing strong new recycling targets across the EU despite its recent pledge to develop "ambitious new future targets and milestones", confidential documents have revealed.

Plastics: We're at war with the symptoms, not the cause

Theresa May's call to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste within the next 25 years is a step in the right direction, but also follows a growing trend that ignores the remedies needed in the value chain of the UK's resource efficiency ambitions.

Two serious throwaway culture issues for Theresa May beyond plastic bags

The UK government's new 25 year plan for the environment (25 YEP) leads with the planned extension of the plastic bag tax and the need to tackle plastic waste in what Theresa May calls our "Throwaway Culture".

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) insists that new policies will be required to close the remaining “emissions gap”

Clean Growth Strategy 'not enough' to meet UK's carbon targets, climate advisers warn

Urgent action is needed to flesh out current plans in the Clean Growth Strategy in order to meet the UK's fourth and fifth carbon budgets, the Government's climate change watchdog has cautioned.

Safeguarding the environment to future-proof our economy

As a Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability professional I couldn't not respond to the UK's shiny new 25 year Environment Plan this month, which sets out how the UK will tackle the crisis facing our natural world.

Contrary to national media reports, the document will not include proposals for a plastic bottle deposit scheme

War on plastic waste to play central role in UK's 25-year Environment Plan

The Government will today unveil its plans to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042, with proposals to include an extension of the 5p plastic bag charge and a tax on containers such as takeaway boxes.

The 25-year Environment Plan includes pledges to eliminate avoidable waste and introduce new safeguards for wildlife

25-year Environment Plan: UK unveils long-term strategy for 'greener future'

Theresa May has today outlined a vision for a "cleaner, greener Britain", unveiling the long-awaited 25-year Environment Plan which pledges to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by the end of 2042.

Greg Clark remains as BEIS Secretary while Claire Perry moves up to the role of BEIS Minister and, in that capacity, gets the right to attend cabinet

Reshuffle: Greg Clark keeps top BEIS role as Claire Perry gains cabinet spot

Greg Clark has held onto his role as BEIS Secretary in the cabinet reshuffle after widespread speculation about his future, while his colleague Claire Perry has gained a promotion within the department.

Theresa May hints at plastic bottle charge ahead of key environmental speech

Theresa May has indicated that the Government will introduce a 5p charge on plastic bottles, in the run up to a major speech on Thursday where the PM is expected to outline her long-term vision for the UK's environment.

New opportunities for climate leadership in 2018

Cities and companies have raised the bar in tackling climate change this year - there are new opportunities for leadership in 2018.

edie has delivered a full round-up off all the key green-related speeches and announcements from the respective Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem conferences over the past three weeks

Autumn conference round-up: What did the main parties say about the green economy?

With the curtains now drawn on the 2017 autumn party conference season, edie has provided a full round-up of the major green-related highlights from the party conventions over the past three weeks.

Lib Dems propose 'carbon-free' Britain by 2050

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Government to bring forward the UK's climate targets by a decade as a new report suggests that the country is on course to miss the Paris Agreement objectives.

Randall, a former trustee of nature conservation charity RSPB, has a strong environmental background

Sir John Randall installed as PM's environment advisor

Theresa May has appointed former Tory MP Sir John Randall to the role of special advisor on the environment.


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