Government could miss carbon cutting targets says Green think tank

Current Government plans add up to less than a quarter of the emissions cuts needed to achieve 2030 climate target, according to an end of year report by the independent think tank and charity Green Alliance. Despite the enormous challenge of battling a pandemic, the government made bold promises throughout 2020 to reduce emissions ahead of hosting next year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow. These included the ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, new plans for sustainable land management, ending the financing of fossil fuel projects abroad and the new target (nationally determined contribution) to reduce emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. This puts the UK ahead of other countries in setting targets for carbon emissions reduction, including the EU which has committed to a 55 per cent reduction by 2030. These ambitions need equally bold policies and the funding to succeed the report states.

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Getting back to normal

Andy Brown writes:

After a year of restricted movements, it is hardly surprising that the mood of much of the nation is that people just want to get back to normal. There are, however, some serious problems about this. Not least of these are some very legitimate concerns over whether it was the abnormal way we were living before the pandemic that caused it to break out and to spread rapidly in the first place. The next disease to cross over from one species to another might prove even more unpleasant and attack the young or kill higher proportions of the population. Since human behaviour is believed by most scientists to have created the environmental conditions that has fostered a whole series of new diseases for humans it might make sense to avoid going straight back to bad practices.

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Government climbs down on housing formula

The Government has revised proposals for controversial planning reforms in England after the new housing targets prompted a backlash by Conservative MPs. A computer-based formula used to decide where houses should be located has been “updated” to focus more on cities and urban areas in the North and Midlands.  Ministers said cash for brownfield sites would be distributed more fairly outside London and the South East.

Yesterday the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced that 20 cities would instead be asked to build an extra 100,000 new homes in the next five years, heading off a rebellion from Conservative councillors and backbench MPs.

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Clapham unanimously declares a climate emergency

Jill Buckler Clapham Sustainability Group writes.

On 8th December a group representing Clapham Sustainability Group submitted a Motion to Clapham cum Newby Parish Council asking them to acknowledge a Climate Emergency Motion. The Motion was proposed by a Parish Councillor and unanimously accepted. The Parish Council resolved that, further to the Climate Emergency resolutions of the House of Commons (May 2019), Craven District Council (August 2019) and the National Park Authority (September 2019), the Parish Council declares a Climate Emergency and to:

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