2024 Elections: Are UK Political Parties Ready for the Environmental Challenge?
Brexit Environment
by Dr George Asiamah
2w ago
In the run-up to the 2024 UK general elections, the political landscape is buzzing with promises, pledges, and plans. Among the myriad of topics vying for attention, the environment stands out as a particularly contentious issue. With Brexit’s lingering aftershocks, a global economic crisis, and a history of frequent policy U-turns, the question arises: are the major political parties genuinely committed to environmental change, or is this merely another exercise in greenwashing? The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has a complex relationship with environmental policy. On ..read more
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Finch in the Supreme Court and thinking about legal stock 
Brexit Environment
by Dr George Asiamah
3w ago
With Finch, the UK Supreme Court has handed down an important, welcome decision on integrating climate into decision-making processes for fossil fuel extraction, and more broadly asserting the significance of environmental impact assessment (EIA).  Surrey County Council had granted planning permission for the extraction of oil at Horse Hill in Surrey. The applicants argued, successfully before the Supreme Court, that the grant of planning permission was unlawful because it had not complied with EIA legislation, specifically, for failing to assess the project’s ‘scope 3’ emission ..read more
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European Parliament Elections 2024: Prospects for the Environment?
Brexit Environment
by Charlie Burns
1M ago
It might seem strange on a site dedicated to Brexit and the Environment to have a blog on the European Parliament (EP) elections. Since Brexit UK citizens no longer have the right to vote in the European elections unless they hold joint citizenship for another EU country. However, leaving aside EP-nerds like me who enjoy nothing more than pondering the runners and riders in Euro elections, there are a lot of good reasons to take an interest in these elections, especially from an environmental perspective.   A major concern for green activists in the run up to Brexit was that leaving the E ..read more
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Inter-governmental Relations: Clearing the smoke or stuck in the glue?  
Brexit Environment
by Viviane
2M ago
Recent developments on two topics are telling different stories on how inter-governmental relations within the UK are evolving in the light of the greater freedom of devolved authorities to go their own way now that they are no longer bound by the shared constraints of EU law.  Whereas in relation to controls on vaping the picture has been one of collaboration and walking in step, on the banning of glue traps dispute has arisen between Edinburgh and London, whilst the earlier arguments over the deposit and return scheme may be re-energised.    Background  At the end of ..read more
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Third time the charm? Comparing the Welsh approach to environmental principles with the rest of the UK
Brexit Environment
by Viviane
3M ago
Whether we will see divergence or convergence in areas of devolved competence after Brexit has been a recurring question since the 2016 referendum. A simple answer is – both… and it depends on where/what we are looking at. Take environmental governance: one body for England and Northern Ireland (convergence) but a different body for Scotland (divergence). As for principles, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland have the same list of principles but each have their different guidance.   What of Wales in this context? As we have explained in our two previous blog posts, Wales is a late ..read more
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Late mover advantage? Designing a post-Brexit environmental watchdog for Wales 
Brexit Environment
by Viviane
3M ago
Brexit opened environmental governance gaps in the UK. During the UK’s membership of the EU, many practical environmental governance functions, from setting long-term targets to monitoring practical conditions and enforcing compliance with environmental law was done (in part) by EU institutions. Brexit triggered a review of those arrangements: were some functions not needed anymore? If they were needed, could we ‘make do’ with existing bodies, or were new bodies needed?   All of these questions were made more difficult as ‘we’ in those questions is tricky to narrow down. The UK yes ..read more
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The NI Assembly and Executive are back – what next for the NI environment?
Brexit Environment
by Viviane
5M ago
After missing for two years, the Assembly and the Executive, especially the Minister in the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs have a lot of catch up to do. The new minister, Andrew Muir, is from a party, Alliance, which has never held this portfolio. He furthermore, compared to his predecessor, is not a farmer. He has committed to focus on the “full remit” of the department – which has already been interpreted by Agriland as meaning he would favour climate and environment over agriculture. Whether Muir will favour environmental action as much as agriculture policy (or i ..read more
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What is the death of Lough Neagh an example of?
Brexit Environment
by Viviane
8M ago
Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the UK and Ireland is dying. Eutrophication and ensuing wide-spread cyanobacteria bloom have seen the Lough turn bright green this summer, killing wildlife and stopping economic activity such as fishing and tourism. NI residents, both on its shore and beyond are worried about what this means for the quality of drinking water in Northern Ireland. 40 percent of NI waters come from the Lough.  Eutrophication is always a complex problem which is hard to fix. It is caused by an overabundance of nutrients which come from different sources. Reducing th ..read more
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NI Environmental Governance according to the OEP
Brexit Environment
by Viviane
8M ago
For centuries, scholars interested in Gnostic thought could only get their hands on critiques (indeed, very harsh critiques) of Gnosticism, and not the original texts which had mostly been destroyed. This changed in the 1940s with the discovery, and gradual translation of texts which had been buried in the Egyptian sand. What does this have to do with environmental governance in Northern Ireland in 2023? In the absence of a sitting Executive, we are in a very odd position. Not only are deadlines being missed and action not taken, but critical policy documents that have been produced are not be ..read more
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Green Goals or Fossil Fuel Frenzy? Unpacking the UK’s Energy Future
Brexit Environment
by Dr George Asiamah
1y ago
In the wake of the Prime Minister’s recent announcement granting numerous new oil and gas licenses, the UK’s post-Brexit energy governance has come under intense scrutiny. This development follows our “green day” blog series in April, which aimed to shed light on the trajectory of the conservative government’s energy policies after Brexit. The UK’s journey towards sustainability and energy security has been marked by both promising steps and bewildering reversals. This blog post delves into the government’s post-Brexit energy policies, highlighting key policy shifts, their implications, and th ..read more
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