Public Affairs
Environment news: 18th September

Greenhouse Public Affairs provides a weekly public affairs environment news round-up across sectors including energy, transport and the environment. Sign up to our public affairs weekly round-up here.

Climate and COP26

Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Philip Dunne, questioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his net-zero plans at the latest session of the Liaison Committee. Johnson said the government would be setting out steps to get to net-zero by 2050 and this would be via a ‘panoply of measures.’ He said he would be making a new announcement in the next few weeks about how this would be achieved. Watch the full session here.

The CBI has released a green recovery roadmap to provide recommendations to the government on how to reach net-zero. The Roadmap calls for the publication of the much-anticipated Energy White Paper and National Infrastructure Strategy this Autumn to unlock business investment, and for the upcoming Budget to prioritise public spending on low carbon projects such as hydrogen and carbon capture. Read the full recommendations here.

Environment

The government has announced £40 million in grants for new nature projects helping to support the green recovery. The Green Recovery Challenge Fund brings forward funding for environmental charities to start work across England on restoring nature and tackling climate change. The projects must support nature conservation and restoration, nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and connecting people with nature. Read more about the announcement here.

A report by Asthma UK has found that more than a quarter of all British education establishments suffer from dangerously high levels of air pollution. Research revealed that 27% of all schools, nurseries and colleges are situated in areas where levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are above guideline limits recommended by the WHO. PM2.5 is the most harmful type of air pollution for human health and disproportionately impacts certain groups, including children and people with lung conditions. Read more about the findings here.

Tearfund has called on the government to put in place mandatory reporting on plastic packaging and plastic pollution reduction targets for the forthcoming Environment Bill. Tearfund has been lobbying companies – Coca-Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever – on plastic pollution since May 2019 when it launched the Rubbish campaign. This comes as a new report by Changing Markets exposed Coca-Cola and other manufacturers’ failure to meet plastics reduction targets. Read more about the demands here.

Transport

The DfT has announced £1 million in funding for transport start-ups with a focus on decarbonisation. The Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants (T-TRIG) bring together talented start-ups and policymakers at the earliest stages of innovation by issuing targeted investments of up to £30,000. This latest round of funding focusses on projects which are seeking to decarbonise the transport industry. Read more about the announcement here.

Labour has called on the government to end the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans by 2030. Shadow Ministers for Climate Change, Transport, and Energy called on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to set out an ambitious plan for a rapid transition to zero-emissions vehicles or risk further damage to both the UK’s car industry and our credibility on the global stage. In June, the CCC called for the phase-out date to be “2032 at the latest” if the UK is to meet net-zero by 2050. Read more about Labour’s plans here.

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