Maitland Green: Our Weekly Update – 5 July 2018

5th July 2018

Sustaining Brexit

A report by UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development, has called for the UN Sustainable Goals to be placed at the heart of the UK’s Brexit strategy by appointing Cabinet-level ministers to oversee approaches to key SDGs. The report has also argued government policy is performing inadequately across three-quarters of the targets listed under goals. Of the 143 targets considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the goals, the report notes that the UK is only performing well on 24%.


The fire on Saddleworth Moor now spans seven miles. Coming in the middle of many birds’ breeding seasons, the fire will have disrupted bird populations for years. Eye witnesses report birds frantically hovering over the fire calling for their young. Only recently a small population of rare mountain hares had also been introduced to the area, their ecosystem is now gone. Conservationists have also warned that the depth of the fire will likely have destroyed seeds, worms and voles. This week climate change scientists at Imperial College London and the University of York have warned Northern Europe should brace itself for more upland fires as extreme weather events become more common.

Climate Futures

A poll by the Energy Institute has found 95 per cent of prospective science and engineering students between the ages of seven and 19 do not believe enough is being done by adults to tackle the damaging effects of climate change. This follows a YouGov survey in April which suggested global warming was a top concern among people between the ages of 18-24.

Energy, Emissions & Clean Tech

In Westminster and the EU

Natural Environment  

In Westminster and the EU

Waste & Resources

In Westminster and the EU

  • The government are considering the environmental and economic impact of banning plastic cutlery and plates. The latest annual beach clean-up by the Marine Conservation Society found that single-use plastic items involved in the on-the-go food and drink market now make up one in every five pieces of litter.

Green Finance & Responsible Investing

In Westminster and the EU

Analysis of the Week

Vox pulls together three trackers which allow the viewer to see global warming happening in real time. This includes a “carbon clock” and “death slinky”.

Comment of the Week

George Monbiot asks “who will save Britain’s wildlife” after the state is dismantled. Monbiot has been concerned Brexit and crippling cuts have left wildlife dangerously exposed. His greatest concern and anger is reserved for Natural England, which he describes as “reduced to a nodding dog in the government’s rear window.” He alleges staff with specialist knowledge have been prevented from making decisions leading to absurd outcomes – such as neglecting to factor in that birds fly or allowing roads to be built across protected areas. He comments: “A correspondent from within Natural England tells me its staff are so demoralised that it has almost ceased to function. “Enforcement, for example, is close to non-existent … Gove seems to have somehow both raised the profile of environmental issues whilst simultaneously stripping the resources … it has never been as bad as this”…If this is happening before we leave the European Union, I can only imagine where we will stand without the protection of European law. The environmental watchdog that, according to Gove, will fill the role now played by the European commission, will know, like Natural England, that its budget is provided by the government and can be cut at the government’s discretion. What is to prevent it from being nobbled as other agencies have been?”