By 5th May 2017 our rather bizarre devolved region of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will have an elected Mayor. This extends from near Royston in the South up through Fenland to a bit north of Wisbech, and from a bit past Newmarket in the East (but not of course including Newmarket) to near Thrapston in the West.
It’s hardly a coherent geographical region. I, like most people round here, was initially pretty unconvinced that we needed another layer of government, but our councils voted for it, and so now we need to make the best of it.
One of the important areas where the Mayor could make a difference is in the whole area of the environment, climate change and sustainability. Continue reading The Power of a Mayor
As I write, it’s been a good month for global environmental agreements. First, the Paris Agreement was ratified and so entered into force on 4 November 2016. Although some environmentalists will rightly say that it’s currently inadequate, it is an extremely significant step forward. This is because it’s setting a very clear signal about the direction of travel, and smart businesses are very good at responding to this. Trillions of $ of investment are starting to flow in new directions, and many companies are investing for the new reality, significantly ahead of governments and regulators. Continue reading Cool technology
The world can seem an uncertain, dangerous place at the moment. As I write, the consequences of the Brexit vote are still uncertain in a wide range of fields. The Labour party is in turmoil, Syria is in rather worse turmoil, terrorism continues, climate change continues, and we look with incredulity at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Continue reading Voyaging into an uncertain future.
I often wonder how much energy is wasted in the UK for no benefit whatsoever.
About a month ago, after we’d had a few plumbing jobs done, we noticed that our Combie boiler was turning itself on every time we used a cold tap. Or more precisely, the boiler turned itself on briefly, a few seconds after we turned a cold tap off. Continue reading Fixing combie boilers that fire up when the cold tap is used.
The other day, I was at an event on climate change and joined a discussion between a lawyer, a scientist and the CEO of a thinktank, who were debating whether it is fear, optimism or scientific evidence that will make people change. Continue reading Motivating change
Much of my work is about the transition to a low carbon economy. This gave me the perfect opportunity to persuade my husband (he needed little persuading) that we should spend a five days in Paris at the time of the UN climate negotiations in December. Continue reading How the deal was done
In what I think is genuinely a day to celebrate, we have an ambitious legally binding climate deal from the Paris COP21 negotiations. Continue reading The Paris Climate deal.
Updates during the Paris climate change negotiations from the charity Legal Response Initiative (I’m a trustee)
The Legal Response Initiative (LRI) supports delegates from poor and particularly vulnerable developing countries as well as civil society observer organisations free of charge in the international climate negotiations. LRI works through a global network of lawyers from law firms, barrister chambers and universities who provide hands-on assistance during meetings, publish briefing papers and build the capacity of lawyers and negotiators from developing countries. Continue reading Updates on COP21 negotations
As the date of the UN climate change negotiations meeting in Paris draws near, there’s a steady stream of increasingly alarming reports about the likely impacts of climate change, only slightly mitigated by the increasing number of pledges of mostly inadequate action. Continue reading The quiet revolution: a ray of hope
Having spent much of my professional career involved in both technological innovation and environmental sustainability, I’ve always taken it for granted that the two are natural partners. Continue reading Innovation and sustainability