Ten years of the Climate Change Act. We need a new target to get net emissions down to zero.

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Bright Blue’s Wilf Lytton wrote an article for Conservative Home on the ten year anniversary of the 2008 Climate Change Act.

In it, he explains how decarbonising our economy during the last decade has led to both environmental and economic benefits, including the development of cheaper and cleaner energy supply and the growth of jobs in the green economy. The article also looks ahead at what the latest evidence around climate change means for the UK’s emissions targets.

Read the article here.

Towards a 'Global Deal for Nature and People'

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Bright Blue’s polling report Green conservatives? was referenced in an article written by the WWF’s Tony Juniper, for the Ecologist.

In the article, Tony says how the findings of our polling “help explain the subsequent very welcome rise in profile of environmental issues in politics, laying the foundations for stronger cross-party consensus.”

Read the full article here.

Eamonn Ives: No, Brexit will not threaten all creatures great and small

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Our Researcher, Eamonn Ives, has written an op-ed for ConservativeHome on animal welfare after Brexit. In his article, Eamonn argues that leaving the EU could minimise animal suffering if it allows for the adoption of a more favourable regulatory regime to cultured meat. Here’s an excerpt:

The EU’s long-standing opposition to genetic modification, and more recent hostility towards the much less controversial ‘gene editing’, means that one can be forgiven for being pessimistic about the EU forgoing the hyper-precautionary mindset which it has displayed in the past.

Read the full article here.

Response to International Development Select Committee's inquiry into UK aid for combating climate change

Bright Blue’s written evidence submission to the International Development Select Committee’s inquiry into UK aid for combating climate change has been published online.

In the submission, we refer to research contained in our report Saving global nature, which called upon the Government to divert more of the international aid budget towards nature conservation. Many of the measures we proposed the international aid budget being spent on could also help to mitigate climate change - such as reforestation.

Read the full submission here.

Response to BEIS Select Committee's inquiry into carbon capture, usage and storage

Bright Blue’s written evidence submission to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee’s inquiry into carbon capture, usage and storage has been published online.

In the response, we highlight the research included in our report Hotting up, which recommends the deployment of a carbon capture and storage ‘demonstration project’ in an industrial cluster in the UK, such as Teesside, where there are economies of scale from the sharing of infrastructure to transport the captured carbon dioxide and to store it

Read out full response here.

Climate change: why conservative ideas need more traction

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Our Researcher, Eamonn Ives, was interviewed by A greener life, a greener world to discuss conservatism and environmentalism. Eamonn begins by arguing that conservative thinkers and politicians have long shown natural environmental credentials. He then makes the case that other principles, such as belief in free markets, are the best way to approach interacting with the environment, as they most effectively capture what type of world people really want to live in.

Here’s an excerpt:

The standard of environmentalism cannot, and should not, be pristine wilderness – a state of nature-esque affair. This would be a horrible and unenjoyable situation, and holding up the environment to that level is borderline dangerous. Inevitably, as humans, we impact our environment. In order to survive, we have to turn grasslands into productive farms, chop down forests for building material, and, occasionally, concrete over green spaces. The question, therefore, should be about how best we do that, and, as I’ve said before, I think that is through the efficiency which capitalism invariably provides.

Read the full interview here.

Birmingham's clean air zone 'should be extended across the West Midlands to save lives'

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The publication of our latest report, Clearing the air: reducing air pollution in the West Midlands, has been covered by the Birmingham Mail. The article also quotes our Researcher and co-author of the report, Eamonn Ives. Speaking about the findings of the research, Eamonn said:

Concern for air pollution in the West Midlands is widespread amongst the public, and many believe that not enough is being done to resolve it.

Read the full article here.

WHO: Air pollution 'poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives'

The publication of our latest report, Clearing the air: reducing air pollution in the West Midlands, has been covered in an article by BusinessGreen. The article also quotes our Researcher and co-author of the report, Eamonn Ives. Speaking about the findings of the research, Eamonn said:

In this year's Budget, the Chancellor should be bold and announce that the UK government will change legislation to enable local and combined governments to strive for reasonable profits from the administration of their Clean Air Zones

Read the full article here.

Expand Birmingham CAZ, think tank argues

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The publication of our latest report, Clearing the air: reducing air pollution in the West Midlands, has been covered by the Air Quality News. The article also quotes our Researcher and co-author of the report, Eamonn Ives. Speaking about the findings of the research, Eamonn said:

Air pollution is a major danger to the health of individuals in the West Midlands. The evidence suggests that those living in the West Midlands experience higher levels of air pollution and worse consequences from it. Concern for air pollution in the West Midlands is widespread amongst the public, and many believe that not enough is being done to resolve it.

Read the full article, here.

Birmingham's clean air zone 'should be extended across the West Midlands to save lives'

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The publication of our latest report, Clearing the air: reducing air pollution in the West Midlands, has been covered by the Birmingham Post. The article also quotes our Researcher and co-author of the report, Eamonn Ives. Speaking about the findings of the research, Eamonn said:

Time for the Mayor to be bold. He should ensure that this region is not left behind London and lead the way in introducing new, ambitious transport policies to tackle air pollution in the West Midlands.

Read the full article, here.

Eamonn Ives: Our government must spend more on preserving global nature - the people will profit

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Our Researcher, Eamonn Ives, has written for the Telegraph ahead of London’s hosting of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference 2018.

In his article, Eamonn references Bright Blue and the Conservative Environment Network’s joint report, Saving global nature: greening UK Official Development Assistance, and calls for the Government to use the international aid budget to establish a new ‘Global Nature Conservation Fund’, and spend at least £1 billion a year to help protect, restore, and enhance some of the most iconic parts of the natural world, including mitigating the illegal wildlife trade.

Here’s an excerpt:

This week, the eyes of the international conservation community will be on the UK. The Government should continue with the good work it has been doing on the IWT, such as the ivory import ban, and commit to supporting global nature conservation more on a par with our international counterparts.

Read the full article here.

Wilf Lytton: Approaching zero hour: Time for the UK to go carbon-neutral

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Our Senior Researcher, Wilf Lytton, has written for BusinessGreen about the case for Britain to act now, with further, ambitious targets for climate action. In his article, Wilf states that previous climate change legislation, such as the Climate Change Act 2008, actually provided an impetus to the economy - creating new jobs, and saving consumers money.

Here’s an excerpt:

Ten years on, this law has proven to be hugely successful not only in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, but also in generating jobs and clean growth across the country which otherwise could not have occurred. The UK is now, for example, a global leader in wind turbine development, and manufactures and supplies Europe with the world's best-selling electric vehicle.

Read the full article here.

Over 130 MPs call on Prime Minister to adopt net zero emission goal

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Our Senior Researcher, Wilf Lytton, has been quoted in an article on BusinessGreen.

Specifically, Wilf was referenced the polling results included in our recent report, Hotting up, which showed the high levels of public support for further climate action from the Government.

Read the full article here.

Maurice Golden: Ring the changes on sustainable growth

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An abridged essay written by Maurice Golden MSP from Conservation nation, Bright Blue's recent collection on environmental conservation, has been published by the Scotsman. In his essay, Maurice argues that sustainability should be at the heart of the United Kingdom’s industrial strategy.

Here's an excerpt:

For businesses, the implementation of circular economic models will improve their ability to control supply chains and manage long-term costs, turning inputs into assets. New business models will be encouraged around renting, leasing, servitisation, remanufacturing, and reuse.

Read the full article here.

Conservation Nation: Bright Blue calls for conservation to be made cross-departmental priority

The publication of Bright Blue's recent essay collection, Conservation nationhas been covered by BusinessGreen.

In an article on the collection, Eamonn Ives, a co-editor of the collection is quoted saying, "despite it being a cross-departmental issue, the current approach to conservation policy is not seen or treated in this way". He further goes on to remark that, "the UK government needs to promote nature conservation at home and abroad using all the levers of government in a joined-up way". 

Read the full article here.

Rebecca Pow: Reconnecting young people with the natural world would bring benefits to mental and physical health

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An abridged essay written by Rebecca Pow MP from Conservation nation, Bright Blue's recent collection on environmental conservation, has been published on ConservativeHome. In her essay, Rebecca makes the case for, amongst other things, wider use of 'green prescribing' in Britain, as a way to improve health and well-being. 

Here's an excerpt:

Reconnecting children with the natural world is, of course, only part of the answer to tackling the mental and physical health problems facing our younger generations. Nevertheless, it could be an integral part of the solution. The power of splashing through a puddle, running through long grass, or watching a blue tit at a bird feeder should not be underestimated.

Read the full article here.

Net Zero: Understanding The Trend That Will Shape The Century

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Our Senior Associate Fellow, Ben Caldecott, has been quoted in an article on BusinessGreen about the recent drive for net zero emissions. Ben argued that the UK should take on a leadership role for net zero internationally.

Here's an excerpt: 

The UK was a leader in adopting the Climate Change Act 10 years ago and we have made amazing progress cutting emissions, but we do need to look at net zero and how to get there. There is an opportunity for the UK, and a responsibility for the UK as the originator of the industrial revolution, to move early on this. It is important we have countries that show this is possible. That is important for the global transition.

The article also cited Bright Blue's polling, contained in our policy report, Hotting up. It reiterated our finding that 64% of UK adults agree the country should aim to cut its carbon emissions to zero in the next few decades, including 58 per cent of Conservative Party voters.

Read the full article here.

Burned up: wood-fueled electricity could be more damaging than coal

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Our report, Hotting up, was referenced in an article by Sasha Stashwick on the Ecologist. In her article, which challenges the true sustainability of biomass burning for electricity generation, she alludes to our recommendation that more stringent carbon accounting rules are vital in order to prevent an expansion in the use of bioenergy that does not genuinely assist with eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. 

Read the full article here.

Poll shows air quality a ‘major concern’ among voters

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Our Researcher, Eamonn Ives, has been quoted in an article by Air Quality News.

Commenting on Bright Blue's recent polling on public attitudes towards air pollution, Eamonn said that the Government "should be helping to establish a larger network of low emission zones across England" to control dangerous levels of air pollution. 

Read the full article here

The red diesel loophole is slowing the transition to cleaner alternatives

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Our Researcher, Eamonn Ives, has written for CapX about the tax rebate on red diesel, and the implications it has for the UK's air quality. In his article, Eamonn argues that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Treasury should consider closing the tax loophole. 

Here's an excerpt:

This generous subsidy stifles cleaner technologies from becoming commercially competitive – the adoption of which will likely be necessary if the UK is to adhere to scientifically acknowledged safe air quality standards.

Read the full article here.