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Green Alliance is a charity and an independent think tank focused on ambitious leadership for the environment in the United Kingdom (UK). Founded in 1979, it works with influential leaders from the NGO, business, and political communities. Its work aims to generate new thinking and dialogue, and has increased political action and support for environmental solutions in the UK.
The organisation has three main subject themes on which it conducts analysis and makes policy recommendations. These are: Natural Environment, Low Carbon Energy and Resource Stewardship. Many of Green Alliance's projects involve collaboration with partner businesses and NGOs to ensure policies are both progressive and workable.
Since the early 1990s Green Alliance has convened the chief executives of UK's foremost environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in strategic alliances, leading joint advocacy to government on major policy issues.
Notable individuals involved in Green Alliance's early years include Maurice Ash, Tim Beaumont and Tom Burke. The current director Matthew Spencer was previously head of government affairs at the Carbon Trust. He sits on the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s Carbon Capture and Storage Development Forum and regularly advises government on energy and environment policy.
Green Alliance's staff is based in central London. It has diverse support base, including an individual membership of approximately 400 leading environment professionals, and many partnerships with leading businesses and NGOs.
Green Alliance's blog is a platform for insight and commentary from both staff and external opinion formers on UK environmental policy and politics. It was a finalist in the 'Green and Eco' category at the UK Blog Awards 2016.
In 2009 Green Alliance was awarded 'Think Thank of the Year' at the Public Affairs News Awards. In 2016 it was awarded 'Best Environmental Campaign by an NGO' at the Green Ribbon Political Awards for its work in securing the party leaders' climate agreement and received Highly Commended for NGO of the Year at the Business Green Leaders Awards 2016.
Green Alliance was founded in March 1979 to inject an 'ecological perspective into the political life of Britain'. Founder Maurice Ash said at the launch "We’re a bunch of optimists. We’re not the doomsters. We believe in the possibilities of the future...” Ever since, Green Alliance has focused on influencing UK government environment policy.
Early on, in the 1980s, it elicited the first ever environmental policy statements from all the main UK political parties. It was the first organisation in the UK to raise genetic modification (GM) as an environmental issue at the end of the 80s, with its risk analysis which informed new government regulation.
IN 1998, it hosted the Green Globe Network of foreign policy experts, supported by cross-cutting funding from three government departments: the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
A number of new organisations and initiatives have arisen from Green Alliance's work over the years, including the National Food Alliance (now Sustain), the Environment Agency, the Carbon Trust and the UK's Renewables Obligation.citation needed
An independent evaluation of Green Alliance's work in 2008 concluded: “Green Alliance’s key strengths are its influence within Westminster and Whitehall and its understanding of the political process. Green Alliance’s relationships with politicians, special advisers and civil servants are its primary strength. It is considered influential within government. Those in government value the ability of Green Alliance to bring them policy positions and mediate relations with NGOs.”
Examples of its influence include securing new government strategies on green taxes and microgeneration, increases to landfill tax and more investment in recycling, brokering a historic party leaders’ pledge on climate change, helping to win the argument in government to end unabated coal and proposing a new approach to support for renewables into the 2020s which was adopted by the government.
Green Alliance staff and associates are often quoted as expert sources in national and specialist news outlets such as The Guardian, The Independent, BusinessGreen, The Financial Times and The ENDS Report. Subjects which have recently been commented on by Green Alliance experts in major news outlets are; The Green Investment Bank; London's environmental policies and the fifth carbon budget.
- Dame Fiona Reynolds, CBE (Chair)
- Philip Parker (Hon. Treasurer)
- Ben Caldecott
- Catherine Howarth
- Professor Mariana Mazzucato
- Sophia Tickell
- Sir Graham Wynne CBE
- Rosemary Boot
- Alison Austin
External specialists providing advice and support to Green Alliance:
- Paul Arwas
- Duncan Brack
- Ian Christie
- Chris Church
- Chris Hewett
- Julie Hill
- Hywel Lloyd
- Jiggy Lloyd
- Rebekah Phillips
- Rebecca Willis
- Dimitri Zenghelis
- ^ Exclusive Interview: Matthew Spencer Director of Green Alliance (Blue and Green Tomorrow, May 2016)
- ^ Why Recycling Our Mobile Devices Is Critical (Float, April 2016)
- ^ EU referendum: UK risks losing energy and climate policy influence (Business Green, April 2016)
- ^ England's green power: East Riding best for wind while Cornwall tops solar (The Guardian, April 2016)
- ^ Infrastructure pipeline: high carbon still dominant (Infrastructure Intelligence, March 2016)
- ^ Business groups and NGOs set key tests for privatised GIB (The Environmentalist, March 2016)
- ^ Osborne urged to deliver clean power for the 'Northern Powerhouse' (Business Green, March 2016)
- ^ London mayor race: high ideals and deep denials at Green Alliance debate (The Guardian, March 2016)
- ^ Powering the region with new Green Alliance report on renewables (Platform, March 2016)
- ^ Scottish minister hails proposal to re-engineer city centres to be mainly car-free (Transport Xtra, February 2016)
- ^ WRAP Outlines Circular Economy Jobs By Parliamentary Constituency (CIWM, February 2016)
- ^ An independent review of Green Alliance: final report February 2008 (Firetail, 2008)