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Room for the environment in the Government's 'plan for growth'?

After several weeks of waiting and delay, the much anticipated Government Science and Innovation strategy statement was finally released on the 17th December.  A collaborative effort between Greg Clark (Minister for Universities, Science and Cities), Vince Cable (Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary), and George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer), this document entitled ‘Our plan for growth’ was initially supposed to be published alongside the A

The end of a green Europe? The Juncker Commission

In putting together his College of Commissioners, new Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has been making some significant early changes in structure and focus.  In the second post of our blog series on The end of a green Europe?, we examine the new Commission structure, and explore what these changes may mean for the environmental agenda in Europe over the coming Commission term.

The end of a green Europe? The term of Janez Potočnik

The five year term of the current European Commission officially draws to a close on the 31st October 2014.  As the EU policy cycle renews with the influx of new Commissioners, it is a good time to take stock, review the progress that has been made, and think about the challenges ahead.  The EU has a strong history of promoting environmental protection and has the potential to be a political space for the development of progressive environmental policy which is underpinned by sound science.

Biodiversity offsetting — help or hype?

As a life-long naturalist with nearly three decades running an ecological consultancy, I find myself reaching boiling point over biodiversity offsetting, and simultaneously becoming sad because our native wildlife desperately needs all the help it can get. Every site’s ecology is particular to its specific location: you may be able to consider compensation for destroying it but it will never truly be “like-for-like” so you can’t “offset” it. Perhaps a better word than offsetting would be "compensation" and with an emphasis that this does not equal "equivalence". 

Bringing environmental science to local community work

I work for a local authority and have spent several years encouraging reluctant residents to recycle. More recently I have been working with the Environment Protection team within the council to help local industries avoid releasing dust and chemical pollutants into the air. However, at heart I am an "old-school" environmentalist who wants to help save the planet, so while I acknowledge my professional work is worthwhile, it annoys me that I cannot work on projects which directly mitigate climate change or promote renewable energy and sustainable development.

Introducing the Analysis Pages

As part of the IES' commitment to creating original, though-provoking content, research and commentary relevant to the environmental science sector, we have launched a new Analysis section of the website. This new platform is aimed at members and other interested readers and will help them discover in-depth explorations of topics relevant to science and the environment, professional skills and current sector thinking.

The Analysis section will carry the following types of content:

Recognising the importance of local high streets

Urban development and regeneration in the UK commonly favours geographically defined and marketable projects over more dispersed investment throughout a city’s local high streets. The creation of new, branded urban centres (for shopping, recreation and premium residential) may be regarded by investors and planning officers as more economically and politically effective in ‘enlivening’ a city’s economy.

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