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.

Climate change: why conservative ideas need more traction


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.

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


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.

The case for spending aid budget on conservation to save planet


Our Senior Associate Fellow, Ben Caldecott, has written a piece for the Yorkshire Post on our latest report, Saving global nature: greening UK Official Development Assistance. In his article, Ben explains how our report calls for nature to become a key filter when allocating UK international aid. 

Here's an excerpt:

Habitat loss, the erosion of ecosystem services, climate change, and pollution are exacerbating poverty and erasing – or increasing the fragility of – development gains around the world. Protecting and restoring nature is essential for securing genuinely sustainable development, particularly in the poorest countries.

Read the full article here.