Environmental politics
News of the week: 29th May

Greenhouse Public Affairs provides an environmental politics news of the week report across sectors including energy, transport and the environment. Sign up to our environmental politics weekly round-up here.

Environment and COP26

A new report by IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission urges a just transition to be at the heart of tackling the climate emergency. The report centres around the demand for “faster, further and fairer” climate action. It also describes the inextricable link between addressing the climate and nature emergency and tackling economic and social injustice. The report was co-authored by Green MP Caroline Lucas, and former Conservative MP and renewable energy campaigner Laura Sandys. View the full report here.

A new government investigation has revealed that tyre particles are a major source of microplastics contaminating oceans and seas. The study, led by DEFRA minister Rebecca Pow MP, will improve scientific understanding of how microplastics enter the ocean. Scientists have previously discovered microplastics, originating from microbeads in cosmetics and the degradation of larger items such as carrier bags and plastic bottles, in marine environments globally. More details on the findings are available here.


The DfT has published a summary of responses to the electric vehicle smart charging consultation. The proposed regulations in the consultation would require electric vehicle chargepoints sold in the UK to have smart charging functionality. Respondents generally agreed with the Government’s aims for EV smart charging, however some respondents proposed other objectives, such as protecting user functionality, cost and carbon intensity. Read the full consultation summary here

A new AA survey reveals that British drivers are ready to embrace active travel. It finds 50% plan to walk more and 40% will drive less, to maintain cleaner air and protect the environment. Furthermore, one in five plan to cycle more. The AA is also urging the Government to find solutions to help people get around on journeys where walking and cycling are not an option. Find the full survey results here.


The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors has suggested ways to retro-fit homes at scale in order to improve energy efficiency. With an estimated £65 billion needed to retrofit our homes, financiers will require robust and reliable data on the energy performance of buildings in order to provide investment. Amongst other findings, it also calls for Residential Retrofit Principles that offer an industry-recognised certification for financial solutions that support the retrofit of residential buildings to a high standard. Read the full document here.

The UK’s ‘big five’ gas companies are calling for £900m investment in green gas infrastructure across the country. Cadent, National Grid, NGN, SGN, and Wales & West Utilities say financing green gas projects now could result in the UK being a net beneficiary of that investment before 2045. The networks’ plans include connecting more hydrogen and bio-methane generation; trials of domestic appliances using hydrogen; and also research into blending an increasing amount of zero carbon hydrogen with natural gas. Read the full proposal here.

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