On Wednesday 29 June, we will host an exploratory seminar on the Precautionary Principle. Presenters will be Deval Desai (Law), Pedro Cisterna (Law) and Sotiria Grek (SPS). The presenters will also be joined by discussants: Sudeepa Abeysinghe (SPS), Lindsay Paterson (SPS) and Katherine Smith (Strathclyde).
This talk introduces an embryonic book project that will extend this work in much richer detail. I want to argue, drawing on key case studies across health policy in the UK, that policy actors have good reasons for hanging on to ideals like EBPM, joined-up governance, transparency and citizen engagement in their practice. Namely, I will argue that pursuing these goals helps them a) to cope with the complex demands of contemporary governance, b) to channel their interests and values in persuasive ways, and c) to ensure buy-in from everyone in the face of eliminable complexities and conflicts.
A recent report by the CCC (the Committee on Climate Change) made its low-key way to Parliament (‘The compatibility of UK onshore petroleum with meeting the UK’s carbon budgets’). In it, a key message: shale gas exploitation, commonly known as ‘fracking’, if it is carried out on a significant scale, will be incompatible with the UK’s climate change targets. To be clear, this means for instance that both the UK carbon budgets, and the 2050 commitment to reducing emissions by at least 80% would be compromised.