Every year I rashly agree to forecast/guess what will be the key sustainability trends for the year ahead. This time last year I did predict that under investment in flood defences would force government onto the back foot reducing them to sticky plaster solutions - so I got at least one right! What then might happen in 2016?
After years of planning and protests, wrangling and reviews, Lancashire County Council's decision to reject the application for shale gas exploration shouldn't have come as a surprise. It highlighted the fact that the UK does not have a long term energy strategy, and for too long we've done nothing about it.
Too often, highlighting the needs of the capital is seen as standing up for the City. This is despite the fact that London is home to four of the country's 20 most deprived boroughs, and that the City and Westminster, while responsible for three per cent of the UK's GVA, has just a single member of Parliament.
The dominance of London and the surrounding region in the national economy and in many aspects of our cultural life, there is an ever-increasing media and political focus on areas outside the South East as recognition grows of the importance of their role in the UK as a whole. And this could have a profound impact on Britain's future.
Our message to the Government is clear: extending the BRS in its current form will put the future of London BIDs and the success of its high street policy initiatives at risk. Whether this means offsetting it against BID levies or ensuring that landlords are on a more even footing, the BRS needs to be adapted to ensure that the short-to-medium term occupiers are not the ones that are penalised.
The vernacular of 'Science 2.0' has become increasingly utilised in the debate about the future of science. Many media articles and conferences focus on this topic, and the European Commission has recently held a public consultation to better understand the impact of 2.0 and desirability of policy action to enable it.
What is sure is that all the best plans start with a clear vision. If our prospectus achieves nothing else, then we hope that inspires others to pursue ideas that will define a new generation. We cannot go back in time to correct historical under-investment, but we can make plans for a future where once again the North will flourish.
So why do politicians appear to bottle the difficult decisions? The easy answer is that they do not want to take a chance with paying the electoral consequences of such decisions. The balance between 'winners' and 'losers' would be such that any government taking the action would be punished at the next election, it is said.
The scale of Gaza's humanitarian crisis has concerned human rights organisations significantly... Across the world, demonstrators are calling for an end to Israel's offensive and its policy on Gaza. A flourishing percentage of the world's population have concluded that the occupation of Palestine's an ample error and that history must be rectified.
Today, two of the major UK business organisations delivered more good news on the economy. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) announced the best UK growth figures in May since 2003, and the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) upgraded its forecast to 3.1 per cent for 2014, the highest rate since the 2007 crisis...
In practice the biggest thing holding back the Brazilian food and drink sector is not communications but rather the poor state of domestic infrastructure. The poor reputation of the Brazilian transport sector revealed in our Index reflects the difficulties it faces in delivering what Brazilians need and expect.