Video: Greenwash and spin over coal

Posted by christian — 22 April 2009 at 6:06pm - Comments

Here's an interesting catch-up of the state of play with coal in the UK from Channel 4, including some wise words from our director John.

Here's an interesting catch-up of the state of play with coal in the UK from Channel 4, including some wise words from our director John.

Trying to solve the climate crisis with a fistful of pennies?

Posted by jossc — 22 April 2009 at 2:20pm - Comments

All eyes were glued to the TV in the office this lunchtime to see whether Alistair Darling's budget would deliver the kind of changes we need to see if we want to give ourselves the chance to keep the lid on climate change.

The last budget before Copenhagen

Posted by christian — 21 April 2009 at 5:12pm - Comments


Nicholas Stern - panning Kingsnorth, Heathrow and now the budget?
CC Thiago Karrapatoso

I never thought I'd feel particularly warmly towards an economist. But then, Lord Stern of Brentford (as he's known to his friends), has a special place in the hearts of many climate change policy wonks.

He's responsible for the Stern report - an attempt, back in 2006, to figure out exactly what tackling climate change would cost. The full report ran to 700 pages, but the top line was this: 1% of global GDP a year would hold greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to 550 ppmv, 3% of global GDP would hold it to 450 ppmv - gettting closer to limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees. But if we don't start spend that now, climate change will end up costing us 20% of global GDP. In other words, make significant but realistic investment now (the global military budget is about 2.5% of GDP, after all), or destabilise the climate and break the economy permanently. He basically took the environmental debate around addressing climate change and put it into the language of economics.

Electric dreams

Posted by christian — 16 April 2009 at 6:11pm - Comments

Electric cars have been around for ages, and were competing quite successfully with petrol-driven versions in the 1920s, until cheap oil was discovered in Texas, and Henry Ford got busy mass-producing fossil fuel driven vehicles.

Well, maybe the age of the electric car has finally come. Apparently the government will announce in next week's budget money for those wanting to switch to electric cars - up to £5000 towards the cost of a new electric motor. Finally, a few things seem to be coming together - improved batteries which provide enough power between charges to cover most journeys, a car industry casting around for new money-making ideas in a recession, and a range of pretty mainstream electric car designs. So, is this it for the petrol-driven car?

Darling loses sight of low-carbon, smart technology future

Posted by jossc — 25 November 2008 at 12:00pm - Comments

Yesterday's pre-budget report presented a great chance to Alastair Darling to fire the starting gun on a clean energy revolution, given that the combination of impending economic meltdown and climactic chaos facing us provide an historic opportunity to invest billions in a low-carbon, smart technology future.

But rather than take that opportunity - by encouraging the development of a new UK manufacturing base capable of exporting renewables and energy efficient technologies to the world, and creating hundreds of thousands of green collar jobs in the process, the Chancellor blew it.

Breaking news: Greenpeace pulls off a bank job

Posted by tracy — 24 November 2008 at 12:00pm - Comments

Four campaigners scale the Bank of England
Four Greenpeace campaigners scale the Bank of England to highlight need for green investment. © John Cobb/Greenpeace

Update: All four campaigners have now been arrested. You can see more photos from the day on Flickr.

Times are tough. We not only face an immediate global financial crisis but a long-term climate crisis. The urgency of the first is no excuse for neglecting the second.

Four of our campaigners have scaled the Bank of England this morning ahead of the Chancellor’s pre-budget report to highlight that the solutions to our financial crisis are also the solutions we need to tackle climate change.

The answer is a clean energy economy.

Greatest investment is in the future of the planet

Posted by tracy — 24 November 2008 at 10:11am - Comments

It’s pre-budget announcement day, and there is already a lot of talk about the details and how Labour’s plans to reinvigorate the economy are going to shake out. As I tumbled out of bed Radio 4 was discussing the impact this announcement will have on the next election - it could make or break the Labour party.

But while most are focusing on the short term measures to get us through the toughest months, we also need to look at investment that will ensure a better quality of life in the long run and a healthy planet. We’ve published ads in the Guardian, Times and Independent today focused on the longer term investment needed to refocus the economy, provide jobs and protect the most valuable asset we have – the planet.

Green budget? More like dirty brown

Posted by benet — 12 March 2008 at 3:06pm - Comments

Budget 2008

We were promised the "greenest budget yet". We've been given a budget that's dirty brown. Instead of grasping the opportunity to restructure our economy to deal with the threat of catastrophic climate change, the Chancellor has actively damaged his environmental credentials and hurt efforts to reduce UK CO2 emissions.

It is not just that the green taxes announced will be ineffectual; it's that there is no recognition of the scale of the problem or fundamental changes needed if we are to decarbonise our economy.

The Budget: a chance to combat climate change

Posted by bex — 22 February 2006 at 9:00am - Comments

A traffic jam at night

While the global suffering caused by climate change escalates every day, UK vehicles are pumping out more greenhouse gases than ever before.

CO2 emissions from road transport are rising. Car manufacturers, unlike most other sectors, aren't legally bound to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, when put under pressure to do something about their immense contribution to climate change, they agreed to voluntarily reduce emissions of the average new car by 2008.

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