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Talking climate in the language of the right

Britain’s general election is underway, and once again the climate is more or less invisible as an issue. Perhaps that’s not surprising when the incumbent abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change in her first week in office, but it’s not something I’m hearing much about from the opposition either. Other issues are hogging […]

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Is today Britain’s first day without coal?

Coal use has been declining in Britain over the last couple of years, but today could mark another major landmark. Right now there is no electricity from coal going into the national grid. There hasn’t been any all day, and if it continues this way, it’ll be Britain’s first day without coal power since the […]

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The four phrases of a new climate normal

In his book Thank You For Being Late, Thomas Friedman tells a story of visiting Greenland and hearing first-hand how people could see their environment changing. He noticed that there were four recurring statements that showed how climate change is redefining what we consider ‘normal’. I expect you’ll have heard similar things yourself: “Just a […]

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The striking climate impact of beef

Last year I wrote a whole series of posts about meat, and how we can reduce the environmental impact of our diet. An NRDC report came out last week that demonstrates the point very well. This graph shows America’s food related per capita greenhouse gas emissions. As you can see, there has been a 10% […]

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The US states taking action on climate change

Climate change action is firmly off the agenda for America’s new Republican administration. Actually that’s not true. It is on the agenda, but only to water down or remove any current commitments. Though they may change their minds at some point, for now it looks like the US government is only going to make things […]

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Britain’s falling carbon emissions

A couple of weeks ago I was talking about how Ethiopia has been decoupling economic growth and carbon emissions with a friend, and commenting on how rare that story was. I suggested that Britain might also be decoupling, due to the falling use of coal. It was too early to tell, but if we waited […]

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Guest post: Leapfrogging in Ethiopia – myth or reality?

A couple of weeks ago I heard Steve Baines present some findings from his MA on low carbon development in Ethiopia. That’s a country I’ve had my eye on, and I asked Steve if he’d share his work in a guest post. It addresses one of the most pressing questions in development: Leapfrogging – Myth […]

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Sweden joins the race for carbon neutrality

The race to be the world’s first zero carbon country kicked off a few years ago now. For a while the Maldives looked like a good bet, then there was a political coup. Costa Rica was in the lead before changes in government watered down targets, while New Zealand turned out to be all talk. […]

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Who is most responsible for climate change?

Last week I was at an event where we were discussing sustainability and inequality, and this slide came up in a presentation. It’s from an Oxfam report that you can find here, and it shows per capita emissions in a variety of countries. Specifically, it shows ‘lifestyle consumption emissions’. As it sounds, that’s a measure […]

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Cornwall’s renewable energy ambitions

National governments have often provided more talk than action on climate change, and sometimes the real leadership has come at the regional level. This has been particularly true in the US, and as Grist pointed out recently, ‘all climate progress will be local’ under the Trump. The Republicans are aborting America’s climate change programmes one […]

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