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Martin Harper's blog
Greenest Government Ever? Here's Caroline Spelman's view...
Saturday 14 May is the anniversary of when David Cameron visited the Department for Energy and Climate Change and said "I don't want to hear warm words on the environment, I want real action. I want this to be the Greenest Government Ever". People wll have their own opinion about whether...
12 May 2011
In praise of Defra
I know it is not necessarily fashionable to heap praise on a government department, let alone Defra. But as I listened to a debate yesterday at the Policy Exchange at which both the Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman MP, and Biodiversity Minister, Richard Benyon MP, spoke, I felt optimistic. Despite...
18 Jul 2012
Recovering my breath
The UK National Ecosystem Assessment is not going to disappoint. I promise you. But you'll have to wait a little longer - 'til the launch on Thursday 2 June - to get the full picture. Bob Watson - Defra's Chief Scientist - posed a fascinatig question today. Can you think of any major enviromental...
26 May 2011
How to avoid nature conservation 'kerplunk'
The natural environment took two big hits yesterday: Defra fared particularly badly in the spending review and we also received final confirmation that European politicians had failed to green the Common Agriculture Policy. First, the Spending Review : with a 10 percent cut, DEFRA was once again amongst...
27 Jun 2013
It's offsetting time again
In an interview with The Times this weekend, the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, revealed his interest in establishing a scheme to offer planners the power to “offset” large infrastructure projects that harm wildlife populations. This is by no means a new idea, but is obviously attractive...
15 Jan 2013
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