One of the key building blocks in Theresa May’s plans for a successful post-Brexit Britain is the development of a national Industrial Strategy. In the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and Whitehall reshuffle shortly after she took office, departmental boundaries and remits were rearranged, leading to the formation of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, headed by Secretary of State Greg Clark. This move was an early signal that May’s Government intended to adopt a more active approach to industrial strategy than the previous coalition and Cameron governments.
The widespread pollution of our marine environment by waste plastics has become a familiar feature of our everyday lives. Go on a walk along the beach anywhere from the UK to the most remote pacific islands, and you will certainly see plastic bottles, polystyrene and other plastic debris that has been deposited by the sea. However, much harder to see are the millions of tiny pieces of plastic, collectively termed microplastics, which are polluting marine environments worldwide.
Although the days preceding Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement were characterised by a series of leaks and early announcements, as the Government’s first formal budget update since the EU referendum it was still much anticipated in Westminster and beyond. As well as giving an update on the effect of Brexit on the country’s economic forecasts, many were hoping the Chancellor’s statement would give an indication as to the Government’s strategy post-Brexit.
There is no doubt that the end of June brought quite remarkable political times to the UK. One of these remarkable events was the Government’s endorsement of the fifth carbon budget, right in the middle of a political leadership debacle.
Dr Noel Nelson, the current Chair of the IES, is an environmental scientist presently working on the role the atmosphere and the weather plays in transmitting a wide range of animal related diseases. Noel has always had an interest in space and astronomy, and in this blog explores what we know about space weather, the disruption it can cause to us on Earth, and why space weather forecasting is important.
It has been a complicated, fast-paced, and often frankly confusing month in British politics. There was barely time to take stock of the implications of the vote to leave the European Union on the 23rd June, before we were confronted with leadership battles, resignations, re-shuffles, and re-re-shuffles in a matter of days. Sometimes it was hard to keep up.
In the wake of the referendum result, many in the environmental and science communities are shocked and concerned about the future.
The UK now faces much uncertainty regarding the future of funding for some scientific research, as well as the freedom of movement for researchers and students. Meanwhile, many of the laws and initiatives on which we have relied for several decades to protect our environment have their roots in EU legislation, and there is no guarantee that such protections will be retained once obligations to implement these Directives cease.
Politicians are always keen to talk about how science and innovation can drive productivity and economic growth, but as environmental professionals will recognise, the importance of science to our prosperity and wellbeing is by no means restricted to economics.
As the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union draws closer, we decided to investigate the views of IAQM members on this issue. Dr Claire Holman, Chair of the IAQM, explores the results of this survey, and the implications of this vote for air quality in the UK.
In September 2015 the UK Government responded to the Natural Capital Committee’s third State of Natural Capital Report. The committee recommended that the government develop a 25 year plan to deliver on their aim to be “the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited”.