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The Green Alliance Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

The latest ideas, debate and insights on UK environmental policy and politics. Brought to you by Green Alliance - the charity and think tank focused on achieving ambitious leadership for the environment.

The latest ideas, debate and insights on UK environmental policy and politics. Brought to you by Green Alliance - the charity and think tank focused on achieving ambitious leadership for the environment.


United Kingdom


The latest ideas, debate and insights on UK environmental policy and politics. Brought to you by Green Alliance - the charity and think tank focused on achieving ambitious leadership for the environment.






Interview with Environment Minister Rebecca Pow

We were joined by Environment Minister Rebecca Pow for this special podcast episode for World Environment Day. Currently serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Defra, she has long been a champion of environmental issues. She discusses her farming roots, studies and career, and her passion for nature. Hear Rebecca Pow’s insights into actions the government is taking on the environment, including on air quality, waste and agriculture. She describes the changes she hopes to see...


The economics of carbon taxes and a green recovery ('Insights', series 1 - episode 12)

How do we get on a sustainable economic pathway? Dieter Helm is professor of energy policy and official fellow in economics of Oxford University. His book Green and prosperous land' argues that the UK has so far overlooked the climate impact caused by the products we consume. In the last in the current series of our ‘Insights’ podcasts, Caterina Brandmayr and Dieter Helm discuss the importance of the UK tackling all the emissions it’s responsible for, a green recovery and the role of...


Will Covid-19 shift the UK to sustainable transport long term? (event highlights)

This episode features the highlights from our online event, 'Will Covid-19 shift the UK to sustainable transport long term?'. During lockdown there was a huge drop in transport across the UK and the air we breathe has been noticeably cleaner as a result. But will decisions made as the lockdown is eased make transport systems compatible with the government’s net zero target and improve air quality across the country long term, or will they lock in more carbon intensive infrastructure and...


Trade talks: risks and opportunities for the UK's environmental credentials ('Insights', series 1 - episode 11)

Brexit means that the UK can design its own approach to international trade for the first time in over 40 years, but what could this mean for the environment? In this episode, Sarah Williams, head of the Greener UK unit, is joined by Tom West, UK environment lead at ClientEarth, and an expert on the trade talks. With the UK in the midst of trade negotiations with a number of different countries, and the Trade Bill being discussed in parliament, how we can make sure these agreements are...


How citizens' assemblies are transforming the political process ('Insights', series 1 - episode 10)

In this episode, we interview professor in practice at Lancaster University and expert lead for the Climate Assembly UK, Dr Rebecca Willis. She gives her insights into the assembly’s process and what the results could mean for future UK climate action. She discusses her new book Too hot to handle? The democratic challenge of climate change which reports on her revealing interviews with leading politicians across the parties and their attitudes to climate action.


Making the link: from nature destruction to pandemic ('Insights', series 1 - episode 9)

Human disruption of natural support systems is not only damaging wildlife and ecosystems, it is also putting the human population at considerable risk, as the emergence of Covid-19 has demonstrated. In this fascinating discussion between Libby Peake and disease ecologist Dr Thomas Gillespie of Emory University we learn about the risk factors involved in the 'spillover' of new pathogens caused by human induced environmental change, and the urgent need to change the 'artificial divide'...


Covid-19: The role of nature in the nation's recovery (event highlights)

"A hopeful future and a better normal" On 5 May 2020, Green Alliance hosted an online event to discuss the implications of the coronavirus crisis for nature and the conservation sector and the very important role it can play in the nation's recovery. Speakers were Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB, and Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England. This episode features the highlights of the discussion. This event was the second...


Leadership in uncertain times, an interview with Margaret Heffernan ('Insights', series 1 - episode 8)

Will the post-pandemic settlement be the beginning of a new normal or a return to old ways? In this episode, Shaun Spiers, Green Alliance’s executive director, interviews Margaret Heffernan, former CEO of five businesses and inspirational speaker and writer on the nature of leadership. She reminds us that, at times of great uncertainty, we must have confidence in our capacity to adapt, improvise and create a future we want and can believe in. Their discussion reflects on past pandemics...


Finding hope amidst beauty: the Yorkshire Dales' ambitious plan for carbon reduction ('Insights', series 1 - episode 7)

This podcast episode is an insight into the carbon reduction plans of one of the UK’s largest National Park Authorities (NPA). The Yorkshire Dales National Park’s ambitious plans aim to transform the region’s buildings, transport and land management, almost eliminating all CO2 emissions by 2030. Ruth Chambers interviews David Butterworth, chief executive of the national park about the plan, why it will be important to transfer more power and resources from central government to local...


Covid-19 and COP26: what next for action on climate change? (event highlights)

This podcast features the highlights from an hourlong expert discussion on what the coronavirus crisis means for climate action, including the postponement of COP26 and the economic consequences. Panellists: Chris StarkCamilla BornDr Thomas HaleThis was the first in a series of online events we will be hosting on the impact of the current health crisis on the environmental agenda.


UK food supply, Covid-19 and the environment ('Insights', series 1 - episode 6)

James Elliott interviews Tim Lang, professor of food policy and founder of the food policy centre at City, University of London. They discuss his new book Feeding Britain and the implications of coronavirus for the UK's food system. This episode also covers food inequality, whether we need rationing, why food and health issues are inextricably linked with the economy, defence, risk, nature and biodiversity, and the urgent need for a food resilience plan.


Interview with Craig Bennett, the new executive director of The Wildlife Trusts ('Insights', series 1 - episode 5)

As he takes up his new role at a historic moment for the UK, Craig Bennett, the incoming chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, reflects on his 18 years at Friends of the Earth and shares his vision for the sector. With Green Alliance’s Shaun Spiers, he discusses immediate priorities for the sector in dealing with Covid-19 and how charitable organisations can emerge strong from the pandemic, and why we can’t hit pause on the important conservation services being carried out by...


How is the coronavirus crisis affecting the waste industry? ('Insights', series 1 - episode 4)

Waste and recycling operatives are designated as key workers by the government. Adam Read, external affairs director of waste management company SUEZ, and Libby Peake, head of resource policy at Green Alliance discuss the implications for the industry and what’s needed to make sure essential recycling and waste services continue to function safely and efficiently during the COVID-19 outbreak. Will panic buying lead to an avalanche of food waste? How do priority waste and recycling services...


What does coronavirus mean for public engagement with parliament? ('Insights', series 1 - episode 3)

In this episode, Ruth Chambers, parliamentary adviser at Green Alliance interviews Sir David Natzler, former Clerk and principal constitutional adviser to the House of Commons. Together, they discuss what coronavirus means for public engagement with parliament and how it is affecting the passage of important environmental legislation.


Debunking the myths around electric vehicles (‘Insights’, series 1 - episode 2)

This episode Transport and Environment's Greg Archer discusses issues around the rise of electric vehicles with Chaitanya Kumar, including the UK's ban on diesel and petrol vehicles and the effectiveness of the measures introduced in the 2020 budget. Plus, is the quietness of electric vehicles really a safety issue? Hear Greg Archer debunk some common myths about electric vehicles.


The Environment Bill (‘Insights’, series 1 - episode 1)

Ali Plummer of the RSPB and Ruth Chambers of Greener UK have both worked at the heart of bringing the Environment Bill to parliament and they have strong views about what needs to happen to make sure it is the landmark legislation that has been promised. They discuss why the bill matters, whether it will stand the test of time and whether it will be strong enough to set the right path for future governments to be able to reverse nature’s decline in the UK.


Building blocks for a green economy: Innovating through infrastructure delivery (event highlights)

What are the building blocks needed for a green economy? How can the government make sure UK infrastructure is planned and managed to promote innovative low carbon solutions? And what role do businesses and the public play in making this a reality? Our new podcast brings you the highlights from the expert panel discussion that took place during the Green Innovation Policy Commission launch event in November 2019. This podcast begins with an introduction to green innovation through...


Acting on net zero now (event highlights)

We welcomed a fantastic range of panellists to discuss this new legislation and to share ideas on how we can make the most of this 'climate moment'. We were joined by Rt Hon Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North and chair of the IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission, Isabella Gornall, managing director of Seahorse Environmental Communications, Scarlett Westbrook, a Birmingham School Striker for Climate, and Leah Davis, senior adviser to the deputy mayor of London. Music by Podington Bear...


Will China save the planet? (event highlights)

In response to Extinction Rebellion’s recent climate protests in the UK, some suggested that China would be a more legitimate target for protest. But what is China doing to address its domestic environmental crisis and transform the world's second largest economy away from highly polluting industry towards clean energy, services and innovation? Listen to the highlights from our discussion with Barbara Finamore, whose book 'Will China save the planet?' explores China’s global role on climate...


Boris Johnson, the Amazon and 2020 predictions (News review, episode 10)

The latest insights into environmental policy and politics, both in the UK and abroad. Things get heated in this episode as we cover wildfires in the Arctic, a heatwave in the UK and a bonfire of environmental protections in Brazil. Plus, as Amy and Matt prepare for a summer break, listen to their predictions about what we can expect from environmental politics and policy on their return. But first, does the new PM have any space on his desk for the environment and climate crisis? Music...