An opportunity to cut harmful air pollution from coal

Bright Blue's senior researcher Sam Hall has written for BusinessGreen about air pollution from coal-fired power stations. He calls on Ministers to support new proposals in the European Council to tighten emissions regulations for large plants.

Here's an excerpt:

Put simply, if these proposals are accepted, many more plants will have to choose whether to make expensive upgrades in order to cut their emissions, or simply to close. 

Read the full article.

Think tank: Roll out toxic car charge across the UK

Bright Blue Senior Researcher Sam Hall is quoted in a Press Association article about air pollution near schools. He calls for city councils to have the powers and funding required to introduce low emission zones to protect children's health.

Here's an excerpt:

English cities should be given more power to ban cars in order to protect children from illegal levels of air pollution, a government think tank says.

Read the full article.

Report: It's time for a clean-tech focused capacity market

Bright Blue Senior Researcher Sam Hall is quoted in BusinessGreen about the capacity market. He is commenting on a report, which finds that the capacity market could be scaled back and targeted so that it encourages clean, smart technologies.

Here's an excerpt:

"As the remaining unreliable coal plants are taken offline, the challenge for government is to encourage more investment in renewables, energy efficiency, storage, and demand-side management."

Read the full article.

Lack of transparency over green energy subsidies 'shambolic', say MPs

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall is quoted in the Guardian commenting on the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report on consumer-funded energy policies. He argues that greater transparency is required over costs to consumers of not giving fixed-price contracts to onshore wind and solar.

Here's an excerpt:

“The committee is right to ask government for greater transparency over consumer-funded energy policies. One area where more clarity is needed is the cost to consumers of excluding the cheapest renewable energy sources, onshore wind and solar, from competing for fixed-price contracts.”

Read the full article here.

Green movement 'greatest threat to freedom', says Trump adviser

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall is quoted in The Guardian commenting on remarks by Myron Ebell, Donald Trump's pick to lead the transition team at the Environment Protection Agency. He asserts that UK Conservatives are continuing to take action on climate change.

Here's a quote:

“Despite the attempt by fringe elements to import ‘alternative facts’ from the US, mainstream conservatives in the UK support tackling climate change cost-effectively."

Read the full article here.

Tories must 'loudly disown' Donald Trump's climate change denial or pay the electoral price, think tank warns

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall was quoted in an article by The Independent about climate scepticism and the right. He argues that Conservatives need to loudly distance themselves from the ideas of climate sceptics, and not follow the path of Trump.

Here's an excerpt:

Sam Hall, of Bright Blue, which campaigns for liberal conservatism, warned the centre-right could be “contaminated” as the “increasingly irrelevant ideas” of sceptics are shown not to be true.

Read the full article.

The right in America may deny climate change but conservatives in the UK are taking action

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall has written for The Independent about climate scepticism. He argues that UK conservatives must loudly disown climate sceptics within their movement or risk an electoral penalty.

Here's an excerpt:

In the UK, they are few in number and lack any real hold over the Government’s programme. But their association with the conservative movement risks contaminating the centre-right brand. 

Read the full article here.

Government review likely to back Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Bright Blue Associate Fellow Ben Caldecott is quoted in The Guardian ahead of the publication of the government-commissioned review of tidal power. He argues that it needs to prove it can be quickly cost-competitive.

Here's an excerpt:

"The key thing is for tidal to demonstrate it can be a cost-competitive renewable technology without subsidy – if not today, then soon."

Read the full article here.

Why is the UK selling its flagship climate bank?

Bright Blue Associate Fellow, Ben Caldecott, has commented on the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank (GIB). He argues that the GIB has failed in its remit to reduce the cost of capital and had acted like any other asset manager.

Here's an excerpt:

"If the government doesn’t want a state-owned infrastructure bank, it should privatise the GIB completely and treat it like any other asset manager.”

Read the full article here.

Brexit ‘zombie legislation’ could damage wildlife and farming, MPs warn

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall is quoted in the Guardian on the Environmental Audit Committee's report on the impact of Brexit on the natural environment. He argues that any new legislation should increase ambition, for instance, on air pollution.

Here's an excerpt:

Sam Hall, at the liberal conservative thinktank Bright Blue, said: “Brexit is an opportunity to improve the UK’s environment.

Read the full article here.

145 MPs pledge to make UK greenest country in world after Brexit

Bright Blue's researcher Sam Hall was quoted in the Independent arguing for a green Brexit that protects and improves the UK's environmental laws. He was commenting on the launch of Green Alliance's new Greener UK campaign.

Here's an excerpt:

“As there is strong medical evidence that current EU limits are insufficient to protect public health, the Government should also look to strengthen them so the UK can become a global leader in clean air."

Read the full article here.

Environmental groups unite in pursuit of a Greener UK post-Brexit

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall was quoted in a BusinessGreen article on the launch of the Greener UK coalition, campaigning for EU environmental protections to remain post-Brexit. He calls for improvements in air quality standards in particular. 

Here's an excerpt:

This optimistic outlook was echoed by Sam Hall of the conservative-leaning Bright Blue think tank. "Britain needs a green Brexit," he said.

Read the full article here.

UK plans to close last coal plant by 2025

Bright Blue's report, Keeping the lights on: security of supply after coal, is referred to in a Carbon Brief article about the coal consultation. The research is cited to show that coal can be phased out without jeopardising security of supply.

Here's an excerpt:

However, it maintains that a coal phase out would have “no impact” on security of supply. Analysis from Conservative thinktank Bright Blue came to a similar conclusion earlier this year.

Read the full article.

Britain's coal-fired power stations likely to close by 2025 as government orders plants to halve carbon emissions or shut down

Bright Blue associate fellow Ben Caldecott is quoted in City A.M. in response to the publication of the coal consultation. He calls for all coal to be phased out by 2023, two years ahead of the Government's plans.

Here's an excerpt:

"There are significant benefits of phasing coal out sooner, rather than later," said Ben Caldecott, associate fellow at think tank Bright Blue.

Read the full article.

Britain's last coal power plants to close by 2025

Bright Blue's associate fellow, Ben Caldecott, has been quoted in The Guardian following the publication of the consultation on the phase-out of coal. He calls for the date of the phase-out to be brought forward to 2023.

Here's an excerpt:

"We believe that the 2025 target should be brought forward by at least two years to give investors greater certainty to invest, which will improve security of supply.”

Read the full article.

High court rules UK government plans to tackle air pollution are illegal

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall is quoted in The Guardian in response to the Government's defeat at the High Court over its air quality plan. He calls for all English cities to be enabled to set up low emission zones.

Here's an excerpt:

Sam Hall, at conservative thinktank Bright Blue, said there should be more power and funding devolved to local authorities to enable all English cities to set up clean air zones and more support for electric cars.

Here's the full article.

We need a more ambitious plan to clean up our air

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall has written a blog for Huffington Post about Bright Blue's campaign on air pollution. He draws attention to the fact that four in ten councils in the UK last year breached the legal limits of nitrogen dioxide.

Here's an excerpt:

This invisible pollution is responsible for around forty thousand premature deaths each year in the UK. It can damage the heart and lungs, as well impair the physical and mental development of children.

Read the full article here.

Almost half of local authorities breach air quality guidelines, government records reveal

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall is quoted in the Independent in response to new air quality statistics, showing 40% of councils were in breach of legal air pollution limits in 2015. He calls for all cities to have the powers and funding to establish low emission zones.

Here's an excerpt:

“The government’s current plans for clean air zones in just five cities do not go far enough. Ministers should enable all city councils to set up clean air zones to restrict the dirtiest cars from urban centres."

Read the full article here.

Four in 10 UK councils exceed air pollution limits, figures show

Bright Blue researcher Sam Hall had a quote in The Guardian in response to figures obtained by Neil Parish MP that 40% of local authorities in the UK breached legal limits of nitrogen dioxide. He mentioned Bright Blue's campaign for all city councils to be enabled to set up a low emission zones.

Here's an excerpt:

Sam Hall, environment researcher at Bright Blue, said the worst polluting cars should be banned from cities in order to tackle the problem.

Read the full article here.