Insight

Friends of the Earth's response to changes in the current planning system

Kate Gordon, Senior Planner12 Nov 2020

The government is proposing changes to the current planning system. Our response outlines our concerns that these will make it harder for local authorities to take account of sustainable development and climate change in planning decisions, remove local democratic oversight and reduce fairness and transparency.

Planning for the future - Friends of the Earth response to the White Paper

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Kate Gordon12 Nov 2020

The government recently consulted on its proposed radical reforms to the planning system. We outlined our concerns that these will diminish local accountability, erode local democracy by curtailing the right of communities to influence planning and development in their area and fail to tackle the urgent climate and ecological emergencies.

Missing in action: natural climate solutions in England's national parks

Danny Gross29 Sep 2020

This report uncovers the untapped potential of natural climate solutions in England’s national parks, and explores how the government and National Park Authorities can better support woodland creation and ecosystem restoration in these treasured landscapes.

England's green space gap

Paul de Zylva, Chris Gordon-Smith, Mike Childs15 Sep 2020

This report exposes how widespread green space deprivation is, how it is an issue of racial injustice as well as concern from a public health perspective, and what needs to be done to fix the problem. It also showcases great examples of community led initiatives.

England's Green Space Gap, full report

Paul de Zylva, Chris Gordon-Smith, Mike Childs13 Sep 20201.85 MB PDF file

The full report of England's Green Space Gap including more detail, more data, and more references.

How can government help English councils act on climate breakdown?

Sandra Bell28 Aug 2020

Local authorities can take some action on climate change but they could do so much more if the government empowered and enabled them.

Nine principles for using our land wisely at a time of climate and nature crises

Sandra Bell01 May 2020

How we use our land sometimes seems like a 1000-piece jigsaw where we need to put the right pieces in the right places - to cut climate emissions and boost nature. It’s particularly tricky because there’s more than one correct way to complete it. In this article I propose 9 principles that fit with Friends of the Earth’s approach to tackling the climate and nature crises here and overseas – a guide to completing the jigsaw.

The impact of coronavirus on the planning system

Kate Gordon24 Apr 2020

COVID-19 is causing widespread disruption to the UK planning system, which is there to ensure that the development and use of land is in the public interest. How can the right of the public to hold local decision-makers to account (and scrutinise plans for development) be protected during these difficult times?

The role of hydrogen in our low-carbon transition

Mike Childs21 Apr 2020

Hydrogen fuel has long been hailed as the silver bullet that will free us from fossil fuels, but it's time for a reality check on its production and use in a low-carbon economy .

Ending plastic pollution – briefing

19 Mar 2020

Friends of the Earth's briefing on how to end plastic pollution.

Finding the land to double tree cover

Guy Shrubsole with research by Chris Gordon-Smith17 Mar 2020

Is there really space in the UK to double tree cover? And where’s best to grow all those trees?

Climate emergency – system change v lifestyle change

Clare Oxborrow02 Mar 2020

Based on recent research we argue that changing behaviour has an important role to play in transforming politics to save the planet.

Ruling against Heathrow expansion – impacts and significance

Katie de Kauwe28 Feb 2020

Friends of the Earth won its campaign to protect the climate from Heathrow's planned third runway. Lawyer Katie de Kauwe reflects on the significance of the win – and what it might mean for other projects.

Why the Agriculture Bill must support pesticides reduction

13 Feb 2020

After being on hold for a year the Agriculture Bill came back to Parliament in January 2020. The government promises it will help farmers boost nature and tackle climate change. Will it help reverse the damage from overuse of pesticides in our countryside?

Planting more trees can help cut pesticide use

Sandra Bell17 Dec 2019

Planting trees on farms can help reduce pests and diseases and cut the need for chemicals.