Lessons from the History of UK Environmental Policy

by Professor Susan Owens FBA, Professor John Haldon FBA, Professor Harriet Ritvo, Tony Burton, Cornell Hanxomphou and Dr Graham Walker

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Environmental policymaking has a long history, even if ‘the environment’ has been framed as a category for public and political concern only in more recent times. A policy history, as John Haldon argues in his long view, "should be about how and why the decisions made by those with power to decide, and the way in which they made their decisions, changed through time". The processes involved, and their intended and unintended consequences, are fascinating in their own right. Importantly, however, they can also offer insights for policy- and decision-makers today. With hindsight, it is possible to see more clearly what has endured and what has changed, and to understand better how progressive environmental policies have emerged and evolved.

The five essays in this publication offer a wide range of perspectives on these issues.

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