A special issue of a journal examined innovation in climate change policy.
Source: Environmental Politics, Volume 23 Issue 5
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Mikael Hilden, Andrew Jordan, and Tim Rayner, 'Climate policy innovation: developing an evaluation perspective'
Andre Schaffrin, Sebastian Sewerin, and Sibylle Seubert, 'The innovativeness of national policy portfolios – climate policy change in Austria, Germany, and the UK'
Anja Bauer and Reinhard Steurer, 'Innovation in climate adaptation policy: are regional partnerships catalysts or talking shops?'
A report said that the next fifteen years were critical for climate change, but structural and technological change, opportunities for greater economic efficiency, and the availability of investment capital meant that countries at all levels of income now had the opportunity to build lasting economic growth at the same time as reducing climate change risks. The report highlighted three particular areas for action (cities, land use, and energy) and proposed a ten-point global action plan.
Source: The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Better Growth Better Climate: The new climate economy report – the synthesis report, New Climate Economy
A range of documents were published containing environmental impact and other information for the proposed high speed rail project (HS2) between the south east and north of England. The documents were linked to proposed changes to the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill, on which consultation was now sought. The consultation would close on 14 November 2014.
Source: HS2 Ltd
A report examined the case for climate change policy, ahead of a planned global summit in 2015. It examined: scientific evidence on risks and impacts of climate change; the benefits of low carbon action; the need for a global agreement to close existing gaps; and recent progress in global climate action. The report outlined what the United Kingdom government would like to achieve within the 2015 global agreement.
Source: Paris 2015: Securing our prosperity through a global climate change agreement, Department for Energy and Climate Change
A think-tank report discussed the potential for improving well-being and addressing climate change through the development of a more equal society, and called for the democratization of economic institutions.
Source: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, A Convenient Truth: A better society for us and the planet, Fabian Society
An article examined legal and policy frameworks concerning offshore carbon dioxide storage in the United Kingdom.
Source: Ben Milligan, 'Planning for offshore CO2 storage: law and policy in the United Kingdom', Marine Policy, Volume 48
A report by a committee of MPs said that the United Kingdom government had not made satisfactory progress in any of the environmental policy areas that the committee had examined, and there were particular concerns about performance in relation to biodiversity, air pollution, and flooding. The report called on the government to commit to improving the situation in all environmental areas, but said this would require improvements in data, processes, strategy, and accountability. It called for the development of an overarching environment strategy, with an independent 'office for environmental responsibility' to oversee progress, advise on policy, and monitor and publish performance against the strategy and its targets.
Source: An Environmental Scorecard, Fifth Report (Session 201415), HC 215, House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee, TSO
A report by a committee of MPs examined the government's progress in embedding sustainable development in the Home Office.
Source: Sustainability in the Home Office, Fourth Report (Session 201415), HC 222, House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee, TSO
The government began consultation on proposals for regulations to implement fully the emissions performance standard (EPS) to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new fossil fuel power stations. The consultation would close on 6 November 2014.
Source: Implementing the Emissions Performance Standard: Further interpretation and monitoring and enforcement arrangements in England and Wales, Department for Energy and Climate Change
Links: Consultation document
A new book examined connections between climate change and poverty in developed countries.
Source: Tony Fitzpatrick, Climate Change and Poverty: A new agenda for developed nations, Policy Press
An article examined 'coinquiry' approaches to public engagement, critically reviewing projects funded by the United Kingdom Beacons for Public Engagement on the topic of environment and sustainability.
Source: Audley Genus, 'Coinquiry for environmental sustainability: a review of the UK Beacons for Public Engagement', Environment and Planning C, Volume 32 Number 3
A report by a committee of MPs said that innovative low carbon technologies such as bioenergy, offshore wind, and carbon capture and storage would be necessary to achieve the United Kingdom's legally binding 2020 and 2050 carbon emissions targets, but there was a mismatch between the resources allocated to support companies working in these fields and the government's level of policy ambition. The report outlined a range of issues related to the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group, and made recommendations to the government.
Source: Innovate to Accumulate: The Government's approach to low carbon innovation, Second Report (Session 2014ï¿½15), HC 344, House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, TSO
A think-tank report examined the role of United Kingdom environmental and energy policy in contributing to the international effort to address the impact of climate change, and discussed how such measures could contribute to resolving three problematic domestic issues (energy costs to the domestic user, lack of investment in new infrastructure, and uneven recovery in employment and growth across the United Kingdom regions). The report outlined actions needed, and made a range of related recommendations.
Source: Will Straw, Reg Platt, and Jack Williams, A Brighter Future: How tackling climate change can deliver better living standards and shared prosperity, Institute for Public Policy Research
An article examined the use of evidence in local climate change policy, drawing on interviews with local authority officials in the East Midlands region of England.
Source: Warren Pearce, 'Scientific data and its limits: rethinking the use of evidence in local climate change policy', Evidence & Policy, Volume 10 Number 2
The Welsh Government published a Bill designed to: set a framework within which public authorities would seek to ensure the needs of the present were met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (the sustainable development principle); put into place well-being goals (defined in the Bill); set out how the work towards those goals would be demonstrated; put Public Services Boards and local well-being plans on a statutory basis and simplify existing requirements as regards integrated community planning; and establish a Future Generations Commissioner for Wales to advocate for future generations, and to advise and support Welsh public authorities in carrying out their duties under the Bill.
Source: Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill, Welsh Government, TSO
A report by a committee of MPs said that the government was involved in a number of initiatives to support a more circular economy (to improve resource use and re-use, and reduce waste) but instead of scaling up its work it was cutting it back, and its approach lacked leadership. The report said that the government should learn from the approaches adopted by other countries, embrace the European Union's targets for improving resource productivity by 30 per cent, support business, and support the European Commission's proposals for recycling and the accompanying targets.
Source: Growing a Circular Economy: Ending the throwaway society, Third Report (Session 201415), HC 214, House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee, TSO
An audit office briefing reviewed the government's progress on environmental protection, including progress since 2010 on: atmospheric pollution and climate change; air pollution; biodiversity; forestry; soil; flooding and coastal protection; waste; the freshwater environment; water availability; and the marine environment.
Source: Environmental protection, National Audit Office
A report by a committee of MPs said that investment in flood prevention was preferable to spending on clean up, both from an economic and a social perspective, and that the flood defences of communities must not be undermined by cutting costs. The report said that, while the response to the winter 2013-14 floods was commendable, the government must not neglect prevention through actions such as regular and sustained maintenance of flood defence assets and watercourses. It called for Defra and the Environment Agency to work together to improve public awareness and understanding of powers and responsibilities, particularly in relation to landowners' responsibilities for watercourses on, or next to, their land. Alongside an education campaign, it called for the regulatory regime to be improved, so that it did not create a barrier to landowners carrying out maintenance work.
Source: Winter Floods 2013-14, First Report (Session 201415), HC 240, House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, TSO
A report examined the predicted sectoral and regional patterns of climate change impacts in Europe by the end of the 21st century, and considered the economic impact for the European Union.
Source: Juan-Carlos Ciscar (ed.), and others, Climate Impacts in Europe: The JRC PESETA II Project, European Commission
The Scottish Government published its first climate change adaptation programme, as required by section 53 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The paper addressed impacts identified for Scotland in the United Kingdom climate change risk assessment, and set out objectives, proposals, and policies, and the period within which the proposals and policies would be introduced.
Source: Climate Ready Scotland: Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, Scottish Government
A report by a committee of peers said that the government should do more to bring forward development of the United Kingdom's shale gas and oil resource exploration, and expressed concern that complex regulation might be causing unnecessary delays. The report said that the development of these resources should be regarded as a national emergency, and called for a range of actions, including: for a new committee or sub-committee of the Cabinet, chaired by the Chancellor, to take the issue forward; for a simplified and clear regulatory regime; and for government to make the economic case and reassure communities regarding the risks of harm to the environment or human health.
Source: The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil, 3rd Report (Session 201314), HL 172, House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee, TSO
An article examined projects funded by the United Kingdom Beacons for Public Engagement on the topic of environment and sustainability. It outlined factors that limited the capacity of the initiative in its efforts to achieve public engagement, as well as the practice of coinquiry.
Source: Audley Genus, 'Coinquiry for environmental sustainability: a review of the UK Beacons for Public Engagement', Environment and Planning C, Volume 32 Number 3
A report examined the views of recent home movers in Britain regarding the design and presentation of the Green Deal incentive scheme to encourage energy efficiency improvements to homes. It concluded that there was a need to reduce the cognitive burden on home-owners and 'reframe the offer', to increase understanding and remove barriers to uptake.
Source: Green Deal Incentives Research, Department for Energy and Climate Change
The government began consultation on proposals to reform the procedure for gaining underground access to oil or gas deposits and geothermal energy. The proposals included: an underground right of access for shale gas and deep geothermal operations; a voluntary community payment of £20,000 per lateral well; and a notification system to alert local people. The consultation was published alongside a report on the resources of the Jurassic shales of the Weald, in northern England, and would close on 15 August 2014.
Source: Underground Drilling Access: Consultation on proposal for underground access for the extraction of gas, oil or geothermal energy, Department for Energy and Climate Change
A new book examined post-war environmental policies, covering issues including: causes and effects of environmental issues; policy approaches; challenges to implementing environmental policies; and future challenges.
Source: Carolyn Snell and Gary Haq, The Short Guide to Environmental Policy, Policy Press
A new book examined the extent of, and reasons for, environmental justice/injustice in seven countries – the United States, Republic of Korea (South Korea), United Kingdom, Sweden, China, Bolivia, and Cuba. It critically explored the role of capitalism, and discussed a range of issues, including: race and class discrimination; citizen power; industrialization; political-economic context; and the influence of dominant environmental discourses.
Source: Karen Bell, Achieving Environmental Justice: A cross-national analysis, Policy Press
A series of reports provided results from the evaluation of the Green Deal, including: the third wave of the household tracker survey, designed to measure whether there were positive changes in awareness of the Green Deal and energy efficiency measures, intentions to install measures, and confidence in industry standards; and a synthesis of findings from the Green Deal assessments and customer journey research.
Source 1: Green Deal Household Tracker Survey: Wave 3 report, Department for Energy and Climate Change
Source 2: GfK NOP, Green Deal Assessment Customer Research: Further analysis and new findings from quantitative surveys, Department for Energy and Climate Change
The government published further reports from its ongoing review of the European Union's competences, and how they affected the United Kingdom, which the Foreign Secretary had launched in July 2012.
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Single Market – Free movement of goods, HM Revenue & Customs
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Asylum and non-EU migration, Home Office
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Trade and investment, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Environment and climate change, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Transport, Department for Transport
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Research and development, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Culture, tourism and sport, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Civil judicial cooperation, Ministry of Justice
A report examined how cities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere addressed environmental challenges alongside their strategies for economic growth. It highlighted the importance of leadership, knowledge, and networks and outlined a range of interventions that could be made at the city level, including support for business, regulation, finance, providing incentives, and changing procurement.
Source: Ed Clarke, Zach Wilcox, and Nada Nohrova, Delivering Change: How cities go low carbon while supporting economic growth, Centre for Cities
An article examined the role of local civic associations in advancing planning and conservation agendas. Local groups had variable professional and social resources, leading to differences in their ability to engage in local governance.
Source: Lucy Hewitt and John Pendlebury, 'Local associations and participation in place: change and continuity in the relationship between state and civil society in twentieth-century Britain', Planning Perspectives, Volume 29 Issue 1
An article examined the discussion by member states over whether the European Union should increase its emissions reduction target for 2020. The economic crisis had deepened the division between those who saw climate change policy as detrimental to growth and those seeing it as beneficial to growth.
Source: Jakob Skovgaard, 'EU climate policy after the crisis', Environmental Politics, Volume 23 Issue 1
An article said that policies to increase levels of walking and cycling would have limited success unless a range of obstacles were overcome. There needed to be a much more integrated approach to transport policy that combined interventions to make walking and (especially) cycling as risk-free as possible with restrictions on car use and attitudinal shifts in the ways in which motorists viewed other road users. Such policies also needed to be linked to wider social and economic change which, in combination, created an environment where walking or cycling for short trips in urban areas was perceived as the logical and normal means of travel and using the car was viewed as exceptional.
Source: Colin Pooley, Dave Horton, Griet Scheldeman, Caroline Mullen, Tim Jones, Miles Tight, Ann Jopson, and Alison Chisholm, 'Policies for promoting walking and cycling in England: a view from the street', Transport Policy, Volume 27
A report provided a review of the evidence on the impacts of climate change on social justice in the United Kingdom. It said that lower-income and other disadvantaged groups were the most affected by, paid the most towards, and had the least opportunity to influence climate change and related policy. It said that the policy focus was on emergency response, rather than longer term and systemic solutions, and that research focused on the distribution of impact, rather than the social justice aspects. The report said there was a need for cross-sector policy responses and highlighted the benefits of incorporating a social justice approach.
Source: Ian Preston, Nick Banks, Katy Hargreaves, Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Karen Lucas, Ruth Mayne, Clare Downing, and Roger Street, Climate Change and Social Justice: An evidence review, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The government issued a guidance document outlining measures to support businesses and homeowners in England that were affected by flooding following adverse weather conditions between December 2013 and March 2014.
Source: Flood Support Schemes: Guidance note, HM Government
An article examined, using English Census data, the impacts of four light rail schemes opened between 1991 and 2001 on car ownership and travel mode along the rail corridors. Despite two schemes achieving and even exceeding the forecast ridership, the proportion of households owning multiple cars increased in the light rail corridors and typically by more than in the control areas. Growing rail shares in the light rail corridors had mainly come from buses, and the evidence for light rail reducing car use was less clear.
Source: Shin Lee and Martyn Senior, 'Do light rail services discourage car ownership and use? Evidence from Census data for four English cities', Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 29
The Scottish Government published the responses to its consultation on the Scottish climate change adaptation programme. The programme would aim to address the risks from climate change identified in the United Kingdom Climate Change Risk Assessment, published in January 2012. It said that positive comments described the programme as comprehensive and welcome, but a number of gaps and recommendations were identified by some respondents, including calls for a greater sense of urgency, more emphasis placed on partnership working, more action, and adaptation becoming embedded in the policy, processes and language of the planning system.
Source: Consultation on the Draft Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme: Analysis of responses, Scottish Government