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Analysis

  • River Tamar in Devon has a legacy of contamination, particularly from its mining past. Photograph: Helen Hotson/Alamy Stock Photo

    Rise of the zombie pollutants

    Climate change is stirring up historic contaminated sediments from England’s rivers and little is being done to clean them up, as Rachel Salvidge discovers

  • The European Commission has taken action against the UK over air pollution several times. Photograph: 123RF

    The political environment

    What will Brexit mean for the enforcement of environmental law as the UK prepares to strike out on its own? Tom Reeve investigates what could replace the European Commission as the ultimate watchdog

  • Portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger. Photograph: Google Art Project

    Should we be afraid of Henry VIII powers?

    The inclusion of Henry VIII powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill has raised fears that ministers will use them to downgrade environmental protections

  • Details on targeting carbon prices are due to be announced in Autumn 2017 budget. Photograph: David Neale/geograph.org.uk

    CGS: Power sector to get carbon price

    Carbon capture and storage, nuclear and offshore wind has been championed in the power sector with a future carbon price on the table

  • Caroline Haywood from legal firm ClientEarth

    Insider Insight: Caroline Haywood

    Caroline Haywood, Law and Policy advisor on climate and forests at ClientEarth shares her insights

  • Large biomass CHP plants now face more hurdles before getting RHI approval. Peter Robinson CC BY-SA 2.0

    Government to further tighten non-domestic RHI rules

    Forthcoming rules limiting RHI payments on less efficient power producers have been confirmed, with a suite of further amendments on eligible uses, multi-plant sites, very large plants and biomethane proposed

  • Green investors say clear policies and a national investment strategy are vital to ensure emerging technologies such as wave and tidal do not lose out. Photograph: Lorna Roberts/123RF

    Policy ambition more important to investors than privatised GIB remit

    Green business investors say concerns over GIB privatisation and a shift to overseas investment in green projects are overblown compared to policy uncertainty and state aid restrictions

  • Jenny Hill from the Committee on Climate Change

    Insider Insight: Jenny Hill

    Jenny Hill, Head of Buildings and Bioenergy at the Committee on Climate Change shares her insights

  • Infographic icon

    Infographic: Water companies' green performance slips

    Water companies’ environmental performance appears to be slipping overall, the latest figures from the Environment Agency and water company reports show

  • Boosting heat networks

Comment

  • Nick Robins, co-director, UN Environment’s Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System

    Green finance will make the system fit for purpose

    Nick Robins: Investment funds that adhere to environmental, social and governance standards are starting to be recognised as the building blocks for a sustainable and prosperous economy

  • Richard Macrory, emeritus professor of environmental law, University College London

    Courts will hesitate to push EU air quality boundaries

    Richard Macrory: The legal system is ever ready to put pressure on government to meet air quality limits but it has yet to be seen how far the courts will go to exercise their powers to call-in plans

  • Paul Hatchwell, climate and energy editor, ENDS Report

    Keeping up standards

    One specific area of concern to business that epitomises the need for urgent restaffing at depleted departments such as BEIS and DEFRA is that of EU product standards

  • Linda Crichton, head of resource management, WRAP

    Find out what stops people recycling to trigger change

    Linda Crichton: Dedicated research has been helping local councils tailor their recycling communications to drive behavioural change for over a decade. It is now time to apply this tactic to food waste

  • Niche substances are particularly at risk of being 'orphaned' under REACH – Susanne Baker, techUK

    Supply fears still loom large as REACH deadline nears

    Susanne Baker: Users of niche chemicals are particularly vulnerable to supply risks when the final round of REACH registrations ends next May. Some flexibility may be needed to assess how complex supply chains are evaluated

  • 'We must move in the direction of one-planet living, if we are to continue to prosper' – Terry A'Hearn, chief executive, SEPA

    A new focus to guide firms towards resource efficiency

    Terry A'Hearn: Novel partnerships, disruptive business models and new ways of thinking are needed to achieve sustainability and stop using more resources than one planet can provide

  • Richard Macrory, professor of environmental law, University College London

    Court puts limits on liability for contaminated land

    Richard Macrory: The Court of Appeal has ruled that a successor local authority should not be liable for land contamination caused by its predecessor where no liability existed at the time of reorganisation

  • Paul Hatchwell, climate and energy editor, ENDS Report

    Holding the thin green line

    Paul Hatchwell: How to support the ever thinner green line? DEFRA has turned to outsiders to make up its staffing shortfall, but an experienced hard core of civil servants is still needed to make sense of policy advice

  • 'A key issue of a modern EIA is separating pertinent data from the masses of available information' – Rufus Howard, director of sustainable development, Royal HaskoningDHV

    Digital reporting is the way forward for EIA statements

    Rufus Howard: Web-based environmental statements are on the way. Such a format can help users navigate these increasingly data-heavy documents through more interactive, user-friendly engagement

  • 'Energy is in critical need of clear, far-sighted government strategy' – Louise Kingham, chief executive, Energy Institute

    Ministers must act to attract energy investment

    Louise Kingham: Brexit uncertainty is scaring off investors, and with the UK set to lose £2.5bn in European Investment Bank loans and EU funds, we need long-term policy to boost confidence

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