• Energy revolution in harmony with nature?

    All of you that have been showing the love this month (here) will know that 2015 is an important year for the future of our climate. During the final throes of the year, world governments meeting in Paris for international climate negotiations have important decisions to deliver a fair, ambitious and binding climate change deal that ensures we, collectively, keep global temperature within safe limits. Of course, we can…

    • 27 Feb 2015
  • The laws of nature (2): Sir John Randall's speech on his Nature and Wellbeing Bill

    Thanks to the extraordinary House of Commons Hansard service, here is the speech that Sir John Randall MP made yesterday on his 10 minute rule motion regarding a Nature and Wellbeing Bill.  It sets the standard for political speeches on nature and is well worth a read.

    Sir John Randall (Uxbridge and South Ruislip) (Con): I beg to move,

    That leave be given to bring in a Bill to set biodiversity and other targets for 2040;…

    • 25 Feb 2015
  • The Laws of Nature: guest blog by Sir John Randall MP

    Today, Sir John Randall, who at the next election is standing down as Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, will introduce a ten-minute rule motion in the House of Commons to promote the Nature and Wellbeing Bill.  Here, he explains why...

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    Way back in 2001, I introduced the Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill in the House of Commons.Talking with the RSPB, it was clear to me…

    • 24 Feb 2015
  • What nature does for Britain and what we can do for nature: thoughts on Tony Juniper's new book

    I’ve been reflecting about the call made by Professor Dieter Helm, chairman of the Natural Capital Committee, for a 25 year recovery plan for nature.

    If we started this year, that would take us to 2040 when I’ll turn 70.  Who knows if I’ll still be working then, but developing such a plan would keep me busy and provide a good focus for the rest of my career.

    And, it would also take us beyond 2020 –…

    • 23 Feb 2015
  • A reaction to the Labour Party's plans for protecting animals

    As trailed in her speech at the Lodge a fortnight ago (see here), Maria Eagle MP today launched the Labour Party's plans for protecting animals.  These include proposals to tackle wildlife crime and help Hen Harriers. 

    Regular readers of this blog will know that this was one of the three issues we raised in our joint rally for nature before Christmas.  On that day, we had support from across the political spectrum and…

    • 19 Feb 2015
  • The best Valentine's Day present ever?

    If you were distracted by the rugby or your loved ones this weekend, you may have missed a significant moment in UK politics.

    The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have agreed to put aside their differences and work together across party lines to tackle climate change.

    In the agreement (brokered by the ever-impressive Green Alliance supported by Christian Aid, CAFOD, Greenpeace, WWF…

    • 17 Feb 2015
  • Introducing Kingsbrook: giving people and nature a home

    To tackle the housing crisis, there is consensus that we need to build a lot more houses - maybe up to 200,000 a year by 2020.  We don't disagree.   We need affordable homes and we need to accommodate the expected growth in the English population - another 8 million by 2040.

    But we do want these houses to steer clear of sensitive sites like Lodge Hill (now, thankfully, subject to a public inquiry - see here).  And, we…

    • 16 Feb 2015
  • The battle of Lodge Hill (part 8) - good news to end your week

    My Friday afternoon was pleasantly disturbed by news that the Government has decided to call in for public inquiry an application to build 5000 homes on Lodge Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, in Kent.

    Not only did the Government's own statutory advisor, Natural England, seek a call in, but 12,400 people contacted ministers to express their outrage and condemnation that the nation's finest nightingale site…

    • 13 Feb 2015
  • Frack-free zones: what's in and what's out

    If you've been trying to follow the fracking debate recently you might be a bit confused about what has and has not been decided.

    So, in the interest of providing clarity, here are some thoughts courtesy of Richard Benwell in our parliamentary affairs team who has been tracking the fracking elements of the Infrastructure Bill as it passes through the Houses of Parliament...

    The Infrastructure Act 2015 received Royal…

    • 13 Feb 2015
  • Before Valentine's Day, here are more five reasons to show the love...

    ...for wildlife threatened by climate change.

    If you weren't convinced by my post on Monday, or have been unaffected by the burgeoning number of green hearts that have appeared on sleeves this week, here are five more examples of climate change impacts on wildlife. These reinforce the message that climate change is affecting wildlife today and unless we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, will have disastrous consequences…

    • 13 Feb 2015
  • Great British Oceans

    This week, the RSPB and our colleagues at the Marine Reserves Coalition launched our campaign for the creation of marine reserves around the UK Overseas Territories of Ascension, Pitcairn, and the South Sandwich Islands.

    In support of this campaign, we’re very excited to be hosting National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr Sylvia Earle in Parliament today, just hours after she touches down from a week of diving around…

    • 11 Feb 2015
  • This Valentine's Day, show the love...

    The wildlife that we love is at risk from climate change: a million species on the path towards extinction by 2050; the end of polar bears by the 2080s; the collapse of seabird populations. There are some climate change winners, but scientists predict that the overwhelming effect of climate change upon biodiversity will be damaging (for a comprehensive summary of impacts on wildlife, see the fifth IPCC assessment report…

    • 9 Feb 2015
  • Reflections on Maria Eagle MP's visit to RSPB HQ

    It was a pleasure to welcome the Shadow Environment Secretary, Maria Eagle MP, to the Lodge today.  In the run up to the General Election, we are encouraging all political parties to be clear about their environmental ambitions and what they would do if they are elected. 

    So, it was good to hear Maria Eagle share thoughts on what we can expect from a future Labour Government.  I expect more details to emerge closer to the…

    • 4 Feb 2015
  • Maria Eagle MP due to visit the Lodge today

    This afternoon, weather permitting, I shall welcome to the Lodge the Shadow Environment Secretary, Maria Eagle MP.  She will take the opportunity to outline the Labour Party’s plans for the natural environment.  I look forward to hearing what she has to say.

    With just 93 days until the general election, we have been encouraging all the political parties to set out how they will address the crisis facing nature in…

    • 3 Feb 2015
  • Protect the best? Challenges at home and abroad

    Whoever wins the next Westminster General Election in May will assume responsibility for fulfilling the UK's obligations for the global biodiversity targets.  Taken together, the 20 Aichi targets were designed to help the world halt the loss of biodiversity and begin its recovery by 2020. 

    The two most significant are targets 11 and 12.  12 is pretty clear - recover threatened species and prevent extinctions.  11 is…

    • 2 Feb 2015