On Tuesday, the French parliament will vote for a new climate law aiming to support President Emmanuel Macron’s green policies, France 24 reports.  The measure includes bans on domestic flights under two and half hours that can be done by train, restrictions on renting badly insulated properties, and the designation of “ecocide” as a punishable crime. While the draft legislation will most likely pass by the parliament’s lower house, where the French president holds the majority of seats, it has left environmental groups rather dissatisfied. Campaigners have criticized it as unambitious and inadequate to keep up with the rapidly changing climate. They…This story continues at The Next Web
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Voters in “Red Wall” seats strongly support green policies and defy stereotypes that they aren’t interested in the environment, a new study shows.Polling by YouGov for the Centre for Towns think tank found that people in villages, communities and small towns are just as likely to say protecting the planet is important to them personally as people in cities.Some 94% said that the issue was very or fairly important to them, and support for policies to tackle climate change and cut waste have increased markedly in the past five years at the same rate in both towns and cities.Backing for new “green jobs” and energy efficient infrastructure stands at 79% for big cities, only narrowly ahead of the 75% support in small towns.Support for more wind and solar power to replace coal, gas and and oil is fractionally higher in small towns (86%) than it is in cities (85%).And even when given a choice between the options of protecting the environment versus economic growth and creating jobs, support was similar between cities 63%) and small towns (58%).The report also found high levels of support for a tax on carbon emissions by business, with backing marginally higher in villages and small towns (88%) than in core cities (84%).Support for limiting the number of times people can fly each year is almost equal in small towns (39%) and cities (40%), with highest backing in rural villages (45%).However, the one area of real difference between towns and cities was on plans to tax car use, with less metropolitan areas having much less access to public transport.And on the government’s policy of ending the sale and use of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, people in villages, communities and small towns (32%) are less likely to support the idea compared to those in cities (44%).The study suggests that Boris Johnson will get support electorally in seats he won from Labour in the 2019 election if he pursues green policies that some had assumed would not be popular in working class areas.Sir David Attenborough is also a unifying figure across different parts of the country and different classes, and support for the conservation charity the National Trust is similar too in all areas.As the UK prepares to chair the global climate change talks this year, Johnson has already pledged that wind power could power every home by 2030 and has put investment in green jobs like insulation and turbine manufacture at the heart of his “levelling up” agenda.Analysing British Election Study statistics, the think tank found that around 60% of the public felt that measures to protect the environment had not gone far enough, levels that have nearly doubled since 2015 in all areas.When asked specifically to name the most important environmental issue ‘climate change’ was the second ranked issue, with 60% of respondents naming it as one of four most important issues, narrowly behind ‘the growing amount of waste we produce’ (on 61%).“The high level of public concern about waste is notable, and may reflect the aftermath of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series in 2018, which highlighted the highly damaging environmental impact of plastic pollution,” the report says.Attenborough is trusted across all areas, often four times more than groups like Extinction Rebellion.Shadow cabinet minister Lisa Nandy, who co-founded the Centre for Towns, writes in the forward to the report: “Despite frequent suggestions to the contrary, environmentalism is not the preserve of our “woke” cities – it matters to us all.“We hope this report will be both a call to arms and a wake-up call for those who make stereotypical, wrongheaded assumptions about the views of people in our towns and cities, finding divisions where none exist.”But Nandy added: “The consensus breaks down in one area: transport. Campaigns that fail to take into account the reality of life in towns where buses are scarce and alternatives are lacking may prove counter-productive. Being radical is no substitute for being relevant.”The study states that on average, people who live in towns in England tend to be more socially conservative, relatively uncomfortable with social change and are more likely to identify as English, while city-dwellers tend to be more socially liberal on issues such as same-sex marriage or immigration.The report’s author Will Jennings, Southampton University’s professor of political science, said: “Despite a growing electoral divide between our towns and cities, there are many areas of consensus on environmental issues and signs that the divide between voters on green issues may be shrinking.” * The survey of 1,721 UK adults was conducted online by YouGov between 25th and 29th June 2020.Related...Attenborough Warns UN 2021 Is Last Chance To Save Planet From 'Runaway' Climate ChangeWant To Live A Greener Lifestyle? These 10 Top Brands Can Help2020 Broke All These Climate Records – Despite The Pandemic
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard's comments stressing climate change come as the central bank has stepped up green initiatives in recent months.
The government has issued lengthy guidance to English schools in local lockdown areas just days before reopening for autumn term.The Department for Education faced an instant backlash after saying among the guidance that secondary schools could have to use a “rota system” to limit the number of teenagers attending at any one time, with teachers and pupils required to wear face coverings in communal areas.The measures were published on Friday evening ahead of schools reopening next week.Labour’s shadow education secretary Kate Green called the timing of the announcement “insulting”.Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the guidance but criticised the timing.He said in a statement: “To wait until the Friday night before most schools return isn’t the government’s finest moment.”Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said “another late night publication is fairly typical of what we’ve become used to”.The staggered approach will limit the amount of people students come into contact with, and will help break transmission chains by giving enough time at home for symptoms to become apparent, said the Department for Education (DfE).Education secretary Gavin Williamson said any changes to school attendance “will only ever be an absolute last resort”.He added: “However, it is important that both Government and schools prepare for a worst case scenario, so this framework represents the sensible contingency planning any responsible government would put in place.”The guidance said schools should base their plans on a four-tier system, and the extra measures for secondary schools should be introduced at the second tier.It said: “Schools should ideally operate a rota system that means pupils spend two weeks on-site followed by two weeks at home.“This allows more than sufficient time for symptoms to present themselves and for pupils to self-isolate and avoid transmitting the virus to others.“However, schools can choose to operate a one-week rota (so, five days on-site, followed by nine days at home) if this is necessary for the effective delivery of the curriculum.”The guidance added: “In addition, in all areas of national government intervention, at schools where students in year seven and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.”It does not apply to primary school children, as scientific evidence indicates they “play a limited role in transmission”, it added.All schools remain open at tier one, while tiers three and four mean more stringent restrictions such as closures to all but pupils in vulnerable groups or children of key workers.Labour’s Kate Green tweeted: “This is so insulting to heads and staff who’ve worked flat out over the summer holiday, and are now expected to cope with yet more new guidance just hours before the bank holiday weekend and only days before term starts.”Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders said: “Obviously, schools haven’t had any chance whatsoever to incorporate this into their planning and will now have to revisit the plans they have put in place.“In any event, it is a step in the right direction.”Paul Whiteman of NAHT, added: “We’ve been calling for the Government to publish a Plan B for several weeks.“Finally it is here, but another late night publication is fairly typical of what we’ve become used to.“School leaders have a lot of responsibility resting on their shoulders at the moment. These plans will ultimately rely on effective decision making, informed by reliable data about regional transmission rates.“The desire to keep schools open as long as possible is one we share, yet it must continue to be balanced against the need to keep pupils, staff and parents safe as we move into the autumn and winter months.”The DfE also updated its guidance on music performances in schools, saying singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in choirs or ensembles without significant space, plenty of natural air flow for players and audiences and “strict social distancing and mitigation”.It added: “Pupils should be positioned back-to-back or side-to-side when playing or singing (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.“Position wind and brass players so that the air from their instrument does not blow into another player.”Related... Government 'Overrules' Council's Desire To Stay In Lockdown In 'Disgraceful' Decision Exclusive: Dido Harding Paid £65,000 For Two-Days-A-Week NHS Job So, Who Did The 'Eat Out To Help Out' Deal Actually End Up Helping?
In doing so, Musk incurred a deeply rooted Improvisation Debt, one he must now pay back in order to free himself from his heroic low-volume car-making past and become a truly industrial, million cars a year enterprise.Critics love to point to Tesla s misses.They re right, Elon Musk s company has a history of missed deadlines, quarterly deliveries below plan, higher than planned cash consumption and other sins, all summarized in an August 15th Wall Street Journal article:Undoubtedly accurate but missing a larger point: In spite of its minuscule size 50,000 cars in 2015, perhaps 80,000 this year, vs 62 million cars sold worldwide and its many stumbles, Tesla has achieved a unique status, one for which the oft-abused iconic adjective is fully justified.What Elon Musk has accomplished with Tesla goes beyond good and bad company numbers.With the Model S, Musk has given us an electric car that looks like the luxury car that it is… and is a blast to drive I know, my spouse lets me drive hers .As an impolitic Valley wag once said: Before Tesla, e-cars were for vegetarians; Musk made an electrifying chariot for carnivores.I have no data on eating habits in my Palo Alto neighborhood, but this small university town has become Tesla City.Ten Teslas or more in the garage at work plus one or two BMW i3s, and the odd Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf or electric Kia .Granted, Palo Alto holds money and green politics in unusually high concentrations, but it wasn t that long ago that it was Prius City, an early adopter of what became the successful hybrid genre.Looking at Tesla s trajectory, I m reminded of the original 1984 128K Mac.