Environment

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.

How the UK could lead the Commonwealth on climate change

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Our Head of Research, Sam Hall, has written for ConservativeHome on how the UK could lead the Commonwealth on climate change. In his article, Sam praised the Government for positioning itself towards adopting a net zero target for carbon emissions. 

Citing Bright Blue polling, Sam also referenced the fact that when asked how quickly the UK should cut its emissions relative to other countries, a large majority of UK adults (90%) believe the UK should cut its emissions at least as quickly as other countries.

Read the full article here.

UK emissions are falling fast. Now the country might try for zero

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Bright Blue's polling on British attitudes towards a cutting carbon emissions to net zero within the next few decades was featured on Vox. 

In our polling, we found that most people support the UK demonstrating international leadership on tackling climate and see economic benefits from doing so. The polling also revealed that there was significant support for cutting the UK's carbon emissions to zero, as the Minister of State for Clean Growth and Energy, the Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, hinted at this week. 

Read the full article here.

Climate change latest: UK becomes first developed economy to examine Paris agreement commitments

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Bright Blue's polling on British attitudes towards a cutting carbon emissions to net zero within the next few decades was featured in an article by the Independent. 

In our polling, we found that most people support the UK demonstrating international leadership on tackling climate and see economic benefits from doing so. The polling also revealed that there was significant support for cutting the UK's carbon emissions to zero, as the Minister of State for Clean Growth and Energy, the Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, hinted at this week. 

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.

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.