Green Shoots Of Recovery: Why The Conservatives Are Embracing The Environment

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Our researcher, Eamonn Ives, has written for HuffPost about the launch of the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan. In the article, he referenced how many of the policies contained in the Plan have been championed by Bright Blue, including the coal phase-out and a rethink of rural payments once Britain leaves the Common Agricultural Policy. 

Read the full article here.

The greenwashing of Theresa May

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Bright Blue's senior research fellow, Sam Hall, has been quoted on Politico ahead of the launch of the 25 Year Environment Plan. He spoke of how the Plan should build on the Government's recent "achievements and positive rhetoric". He further added that continued environmental ambition would help the Conservative Party "with it's challenge of winning younger voters among whom it did so badly at the last general election".

Read the full article here.

 

Plastic-free aisles: May to promise end to 'avoidable' plastic waste by 2042

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Bright Blue's senior research fellow, Sam Hall, has been quoted in an article on businessGreen in relation to the recently announced 25 Year Environment Plan. Sam reference the fundamental nature of environmental stewardship to conservatism, and continued by saying:

There is also a major political opportunity in the environmental agenda for the Conservative Party, which performed poorly among younger voters at the last general election. Bright Blue polling shows that green policies, such as generating more renewable energy, are particularly popular among younger voters. Going green therefore is rightly central to the party's programme of renewal.

Read the full article here.

 

Theresa May Is On A Mission To Become The "Blue Planet'" Prime Minister, But Here's Why Some People Are Sceptical

Bright Blue's senior research fellow, Sam Hall, was quoted in an article for BuzzFeed about the Conservative Party's environment policy. He spoke of the "big political opportunity" which is available to the Party in terms of positive announcements on the environment. He further added:

I think it's an issue that appeals to centre-ground voters, to people in urban areas, Remain voters as well – people who the Conservatives need to win over in future. It's not particularly unpopular with any demographic, but it's particularly popular with the ones that the party needs to reach.

Read the full article here.

UK Government Details Plan to Phase Out Coal by 2025

Bright Blue's senior research fellow, Sam Hall, was quoted in a Desmog UK article about the UK phase out of coal power fired stations. Sam spoke of how:

Closing coal is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to cut carbon dioxide emissions. It also brings benefits for air quality and for industrial strategy by encouraging cleaner forms of electricity generation.

Read the full article here.

Conservative green policies are reaching out to young people – but it’s their stance on Brexit that really matters

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Bright Blue's senior research fellow, Sam Hall, was quoted in an article from the Independent about the Conservative Party's environment policies and young people. Our polling, which shows how important environment issues are for the under 40s, was also referenced. Speaking about the 2017 General Election, Sam said:

One of the main reasons the Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority in 2017 was their failure to appeal to the younger, socially liberal voters of metropolitan Britain. It’s very welcome the Government now recognises the political opportunity of going green.

Read the full article here.

Conservatives go green with pledges on animal welfare and the environment

Bright Blue's senior research fellow, Sam Hall, was quoted in an article in i News about the Conservative Party's recent form on environmental policy. Speaking about the Environment Secretary, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Sam praised the "renewed energy and passion" he has brought to the brief. Sam further added:

These are big important policy issues. I do also think the politics of it is very clever. It's in line with the traditional Conservative principles around defending the natural inheritance for the next generation, but also it very much appeals to younger voters.

Read the full article here

Combine ecology with market forces for a greener and pleasanter post-Brexit Britain

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Bright Blue's senior associate fellow Ben Caldecott has written for the Telegraph about the launch of our new report, A greener, more pleasant land, in which we propose a new, market-based commissioning scheme for rural payments after Brexit. 

Here's an excerpt:

There are significant benefits of a market-based approach to commissioning ecosystem services. Not only can competition improve value for money, it can improve the quality of ecosystem services and introduce new non-public sources of funding into rural activity. The approach we propose is adaptable and can be modified in response to changing priorities, needs and budgets.

Read the full article here.

Ditch subsidies to rich farmers after Brexit, urges Bright Blue think tank

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Bright Blue's senior associate fellow Ben Caldecott has been quoted in the Times in an article covering the release of our new report, A greener, more pleasant land.

Speaking about our proposals, Ben said:

"Commissioning ecosystem services effectively using market-based approaches will bring significant benefits, including a more sustainable farming industry, enhanced natural beauty, greater biodiversity, increased carbon sequestration, improved natural flood defences, better water quality, better mental and physical health, and better air quality".

Read the full article here.

How to reform rural payments and make a ‘green Brexit’ a reality

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Bright Blue's researcher Eamonn Ives has written for BrexitCentral about the release of our new report, A greener, more pleasant land

Here's an excerpt:

Rather than having different bodies paying for different things using different methods and overlapping approaches, we propose the creation of a single rural payments budget that commissions farmers and land owners to deliver ecosystem services.

Read the full article here.

Reaction: Dieter Helm's 'least cost' ideas for meeting the UK's climate targets

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Bright Blue's senior research fellow Sam Hall has been referenced in Carbon Brief, presenting his thoughts on the economy-wide carbon price, called for by Dieter Helm in the recently published Cost of Energy Review.  

Here's an excerpt:

Sam Hall ... argues an economy-wide carbon price is a volatile and uncertain price signal for investors, subject to short-term political and economic forces, that would struggle on its own to drive the required investment in the low carbon economy

Read the full article here.

Cost of Energy: What might the Helm review mean for UK clean growth?

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Bright Blue's senior research fellow Sam Hall has been quoted in Business Green, giving his verdict on the recently published Cost of Energy Review from Dieter Helm.  

Here's an excerpt:

"An economy-wide carbon price would effectively internalise the social and environmental costs of carbon emissions, but is a volatile and uncertain price signal for investors, subject to short-term political and economic forces, that would struggle on its own to drive the required investment," said Hall.

Read the full article here.

Tories urged to tackle reputation for 'weakness' on climate change

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Bright Blue's senior researcher Sam Hall has been quoted in Business Green discussing what the Conservative Party can do to attract younger voters. Citing recent Bright Blue polling, Sam argued that the Conservatives should reconnect with its history of environmental stewardship and advocate for policies to tackle climate change. 

Here's an excerpt:

The party should adopt ambitious new policies that younger people would be proud of. Our polling suggests their top priority should be to develop and champion policies to tackle climate change, like generating more electricity from ever cheaper renewables like solar and wind

Read the full article here.

Green Brexiteers see environmental boost from quitting the EU

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Bright Blue's senior researcher Sam Hall has been quoted in Politico discussing how leaving the EU could be a blessing for renewable projects in the UK as the Government would no longer be constrained by EU derived state aid rules. He also played down the idea that Brexit would pave the way for Government support for fracking and North Sea oil exploration, arguing that there have no mention of such intentions. 

Read the full article here.

An offshore wind of change is blowing

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Bright Blue's researcher Eamonn Ives has written for ConservativeHome about the tumbling price of offshore wind in the most recent Contracts for Difference auctions. He discusses how the competitive, market-based process of awarding subsidies has saved consumers an estimated £528 million. 

Here's an excerpt: 

Solar and wind have respectively outshone and breezed past their competitors to become the best-value clean energy technologies for bill payers.

Read the full article.

France's grandstanding on petrol cars belies the revolution that is already underway

Bright Blue's senior researcher Sam Hall has written in the Telegraph about the French Government's decision to ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2040. He argues that the UK Government should support a market-driven electrification of transport, rather than opt for blunt or intrusive regulations. 

Here's an excerpt:

We are on the cusp of a profound disruption that will unlock many potential benefits, from lower air pollution and greater energy security, to cheaper maintenance requirements and fuel costs. But this transition will be delivered by consumers, not government edicts.

Read the full article.

 

The Tories must modernise or face defeat

Bright Blue's senior researcher Sam Hall has written for CapX about the need for the Conservative Party to modernise or face defeat at the next General Election. He argues that the Conservatives must offer concrete ideas on how to improve the living standards of the lowest paid in society, and to re-establish the party's reputation for social liberalism. 

Here is an excerpt:

Theresa May was right to try to bolster the Conservatives’ support among working-class voters, a portion of the electorate they’ve historically struggled to convince, by talking about economic insecurity and low incomes. Indeed, these ideas appeal to younger voters, too. But her manifesto contained too few substantive solutions.

Read the full article.

Focus on issues that the young care about and the Tories can earn their vote

Bright Blue's senior researcher Sam Hall has written in the Times about how the Conservatives can increase their support amongst younger voters. He argues that the Conservative Party needs to improve its policies on the environment and housing, as well as how it communicates them to the public.

Here is an excerpt:

There was no positive, liberal conservative pitch for young people. But here are some initial ideas for how they can rectify this. 

Read the full article.

UK could ditch its important role in global fight against climate change, environmentalists fear

Bright Blue's associate fellow Ben Caldecott responds to the general election result in the Independent. He argues that the cross-party consensus on climate change is strong, and so in a hung parliament collaboration should be possible.

Here's an excerpt:

"It is also important for the Conservative Party to lead on this issue, not least because of its importance to younger voters, who have belatedly made their voice heard in our electoral system."

Read the full article.

The world doesn't need the US to lead climate change action – China will do it instead

Bright Blue senior researcher Sam Hall has written in the Telegraph about Trump's impending decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement. He argues that efforts to combat climate change will continue, with huge economic and political momentum around the world.

Here's an excerpt:

Trump is swimming against the tide. There is little chance of a reprieve for old king coal in the US, which is being outcompeted by renewables and shale gas.

Read the full article.