The Green Alliance Podcast

The Green Alliance Podcast

The latest ideas, debate and insights on UK environmental policy and politics. Brought to you by Green Alliance - the charity and think tank focused on achieving ambitious leadership for the environment.

Episodes

January 19, 2023 22 min

Rising prices and falling wages are driving the cost of living crisis, making it harder for people to heat their homes and travel to work or appointments. By the end of 2022, more than 6 million UK households were living in fuel poverty while increasing public transport and petrol prices drove many households into transport poverty.

This comes at a time when the UK urgently needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions to reach net zero. Tr...

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What is the role of business in halting and reversing the decline of nature? At COP15 and COP27 this year, the interests of the private sector at these summits came under some scrutiny. There are concerns about large corporations having an outsize influence on international environmental agreements. To better understand the intention of businesses at summits like COP15, Jim Elliott speaks to Melissa Miners, global sustainability se...

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December 15, 2022 23 min

COP15 is a long awaited global moment for biodiversity. Countries around the world are joining together to agree on a new set of nature targets for the next decade. After two years of delay due to COVID-19, there is hope that COP15 will see meaningful action taken to end biodiversity loss. 

In this episode, Lydia Collas speaks to Patrick Greenfield, a reporter for The Guardian, who is in Montreal at COP15. Patrick provides an insigh...

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October 27, 2022 33 min

The cost of energy has soared over the past year. As well as protecting consumers and industry from the higher energy bills, the UK government must address the root causes of the problem: the global price of gas.

The current electricity market is designed for a commodity based system which reflects the fluctuating price of gas. However, as renewables make up a bigger proportion of our electricity system, a new approach is needed. On...

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October 19, 2022 25 min

Electrical waste (ewaste) is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. The UK is the second highest producer of ewaste globally, throwing away 350,000 tonnes of electricals a year.

From smartphones to single use vapes, disposable culture is contributing to an increasing environmental problem. It is estimated that 1.3 million vapes are thrown away each week in the UK. Aside from these environmental concerns, ewaste is a barrier ...

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As part of its Net zero strategy and transport decarbonisation plans, the UK government is seeking to introduce a new zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate soon to boost the electric vehicle market. 

Ambitious targets are essential to achieve climate goals while also attracting new investment and securing market share to make the most of the UK’s transition to electric vehicles. Leading the world on a ZEV mandate is California which ...

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The urgent need to tackle the climate and nature emergency is changing how we manage land, leading to new farming practices, more tree planting and the restoration of natural habitats. But private investment in these changes can be controversial, with some local communities worried that change is being imposed on them by corporations. In this episode, we discuss two approaches which seek to avoid this by giving local communities a ...

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September 1, 2022 28 min

Since World War Two, farming has been synonymous with growing as much food as possible. In wealthy countries, this has led to overabundance which is driving environmental and human health problems. We now know we need land to provide more than just food. As well as producing healthy and sustainable food, farmers must be empowered to rise to the challenge of offering restored habitats, carbon removal, wood for construction and land ...

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August 18, 2022 15 min

People are bracing themselves for extraordinary energy bills this winter, driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our homes are notoriously bad at keeping in heat and upgrading their insulation is a way to permanently reduce energy use.

Although there will be savings in energy bills over the medium term, the upfront costs of upgrading a home’s energy efficiency can be significant. Support is available for lower income households ...

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The UK was the first major economy in the world to commit to a legally binding target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. However, transport is devolved and the approach to delivering net zero has varied between the countries of the UK.

Road infrastructure investment increases traffic, exacerbating congestion and air pollution, resulting in higher levels of operational and embedded carbon. The UK government ha...

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The government’s net zero carbon goal can’t be achieved by central government alone, local authorities are essential partners in the bringing about the changes needed. 

Local leaders around the country, from district councils to metro mayors, are leading the way. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has set its net zero target 12 years ahead of the national target, aiming for 2038. 

In this episode, Green Alliance’s political ad...

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“We’re not on track to achieve what governments have agreed” warns Nick Eyre, professor of energy and climate policy at Oxford University and one of the authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report. In this episode, Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, speaks to Nick about the importance of the report’s findings and what it tells us about how to cut emissions and ...

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Achieving net zero means changing how we travel. That means switching from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric cars, walking and cycling for shorter journeys and flying less.

But how we move cargo in a net zero world is not the same question as how we move people. Innovation in transport need not be limited to speed and efficiency. Understanding more about what motivates us and how we perceive the world around us could enable cha...

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In 2021, the UK hosted the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow and the government published its net zero strategy, setting out how it will meet its target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

But in 2022, with inflation at a 30 year high,  gas prices rising and the war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis is at the top of the political agenda.

Some voices are calling for more North Sea oil and gas production, while others are urgi...

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Unlike nuclear fission, which has been part of our energy mix for decades, we’re on the cusp of a nuclear fusion breakthrough. Nuclear fusion is the same energy process that powers the stars, and could lead to boundless energy capacity in the future. In this fascinating chat between Green Alliance senior policy adviser Helena Bennett and Melanie Windridge, we learn about how fusion works and how in the years ahead it could become c...

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Along with flying and agriculture, steelmaking is firmly in the tricky box when it comes to the low carbon transition. Steelmaking was at the heart of Britain's industrial revolution and is still used in everything from bridges to fridges. Most of the UK’s steel production is very carbon intensive, still relying on coal and a chemical reaction with carbon dioxide as an unavoidable by-product. But new technologies are emerging a...

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Veganuary is an annual challenge that urges people to go vegan for the month of January. Since it started in 2014, the number of people taking on the challenge has skyrocketed. In 2022, over 600,000 signed up.

There are many good reasons to consider eating more plant-based food and cutting back on meat and dairy. Animal agriculture drives deforestation that exacerbates climate change, while the methane produced by cows and other ani...

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For nearly three decades, the United Nations has brought together world leaders, negotiators, government representatives, businesses, and citizens for global climate summits called COPs to track progress in tackling climate change. 

Back in 2015, world leaders signed the Paris Agreement, aiming to limit global temperature rises as close as possible to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and avoid the most severe impacts of the c...

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As the single biggest source of UK carbon emissions, the transport sector is critical to getting the UK on track for net zero by 2050. Getting more people using public transport is a vital part of this transition.

But, a new report by the Centre for Cities, finds that just investing in better public transport isn’t enough. Our urban areas are less dense than comparable cities in Europe, making public transport less accessible and ef...

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As the UK hosts COP26 in Glasgow, climate and environmental policy in the UK has never been a hotter topic. 

The UK government has finally published the long-awaited plan for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 while the London media has relocated to Glasgow for the climate conference.

The prime minister’s slogan of “coal, car, cash and trees” has resulted in a focus on electric vehicles, climate finance and clean power gener...

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