Policy Exchange wins prize as best UK think on Energy and Environment issues

At the prestigious annual Prospect Think Tank of the Year Awards, Policy Exchange has won best UK think tank in the Energy and Environment category.

The unit’s research has ranged from the role of future nuclear modular reactors to cleaning up vehicle emissions in Britain’s cities. The judges recognised that our work paid “particular attention to the economic drivers behind environmental policy”. Just this week the Unit published a major new report setting how the UK can reduce carbon emissions and make UK heavy industry more competitive through an economy-wide carbon tax.

The work and convening power of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World unit was also recognised at the awards, with the visit by US Defense Secretary James Mattis thought particularly notable.

Policy Exchange housing policy supported by No 10

Writing for ConservativeHome, its editor Paul Goodman has covered Policy Exchange’s plan to use better design and style to overcome Nimbyism. Goodman reports ”Brokenshire believes that it will be impossible to meet the nation’s housing need without gaining buy-in from local people… For him, consent is the key that will open the door to new homes. Both HCLG and Downing Street are enthusiastic about Policy Exchange’s stress on beauty.”

The report, containing exclusive new polling for Policy Exchange, said the housing crisis will only be solved if the developers of new homes place more emphasis on design and style to gain the support of existing communities. Building More, Building Beautiful: How design and style can unlock the housing crisis, with a Foreword from Secretary of State for Housing Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, shows that support for traditional design is highest among lower socioeconomic groups and that Nimbyism can be overcome if plans better reflect people’s desire for traditional building design, like Victorian terraces and Georgian blocks.

What Does Chequers Mean for Northern Ireland?

In the first of a series by Policy Exchange experts reflecting on the Chequers Agreement and Brexit White Paper, our Chief Economic Adviser Dr Graham Gudgin reflects on their implications for the Irish border. Dr Gudgin, a former Special Adviser to the Northern Irish First Minister and leading expert on issues around the border, concludes that if the White Paper’s recommendations are implemented, the Northern Irish border ‘problem’ is largely solved.

Prime Minister delivers keynote remarks at Policy Exchange Summer Reception

Highlighting Policy Exchange’s place as the leading think tank of modernisation, she praised its latest report on tackling the housing crisis.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to Policy Exchange’s successful track record of policy innovation, saying “can I give a sincere thanks to Policy Exchange for everything that you’ve been doing because its 16 years now that you’ve been making the case for a modern compassionate reforming conservatism. And if we just look at some of the ideas you’ve brought forward – free schools, police and crime commissioners – you’ve actually championed some of the defining policies of the last decade…  I’m really interested in the report you’ve brought out today. I’ve long said that design quality is, I think, actually one of the keys to new housing, and can I just say that it’s important you carry on because there’s a real battle of ideas today because, let’s face it, the world is changing fast.”

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Environment Secretary calls for new approach to capitalism in speech at Policy Exchange

In a wide ranging speech at Policy Exchange this morning, Environment Secretary Michael Gove challenged think tanks and politicians to tackle today’s economic problems, saying that “while capitalism has brought both growth and progress in the past, it is not delivering now.” He called for a new approach which “should place the importance of protecting, enhancing and growing natural capital at its heart”. Mr Gove also paid tribute to Policy Exchange’s work across a range of issues, saying that “the practical solutions Policy Exchange has developed have been implemented in Government and have made a profound difference for the better”.

Davidson and Darling

Policy Exchange hosts conference on the future of Unionism

Policy Exchange hosted a major conference considering the future of the Union, with keynote speeches from Ruth Davidson, Alistair Darling, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers. In bringing together speakers from different parties, different nations and opposite sides of the Brexit debate, we demonstrated that unionism can be the bridge between the different elements in our divided society. We also published The State of the Union, a new paper by Professor Arthur Aughey of Ulster University, in which he says that the United Kingdom is a remarkably enduring constitutional arrangement and a surprisingly cohesive national state.

Brexit and the British Growth Model

In this new Policy Exchange paper Brexit and the British Growth Model, Dr Christopher Bickerton of Cambridge University argues that post-Brexit we need a new approach to and understanding of economic growth which moves away from a reliance on consumption. He advocates a new social settlement to mediate the relations between individuals, the state and markets.

The Future of Carbon Pricing: Implementing an independent carbon tax with dividends in the UK

A economy-wide carbon tax paid by both domestic and international producers would prevent carbon leakage, level the playing field for Britain’s heavy industry, fund a dividend to be paid to taxpayers and tackle climate change, argues the new report from Policy Exchange’s influential Energy unit, The Future of Carbon Pricing: Implementing an independent carbon tax with dividends in the UK. A better approach would reduce the cost of decarbonisation, prevent the offshoring of emissions and make carbon pricing popular.

Remaking the Case for NATO

The UK cannot be complacent about the continuing existence of NATO: a world without the alliance would be even more fractious and less secure, while giving up on NATO would be “whimsical, reckless, self-harming and self-defeating”, argues a new Policy Exchange paper, Remaking the Case for NATO: Collective Security and the British National Interest ahead of this week’s crucial summit in Brussels.

Policy Exchange welcomes Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia

Policy Exchange welcomed Zoran Zaev, the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia on Tuesday 10 July for a private breakfast discussion about his country’s current challenges and its planned accession to both the EU and NATO. Mr Zaev was in London for the Western Balkan Summit and will also be attending the NATO summit in Brussels later this week.

Will Heaven to join Policy Exchange as Director of Policy

Will Heaven, Managing Editor of The Spectator, will join Policy Exchange as Director of Policy later this summer. He will play a leading role in our domestic research programme, notably on two of our new work streams – Place and Prosperity.

Policy Exchange welcomes Hon James Mattis

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon James Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, to our offices. Secretary Mattis discussed the current global situation, a situation which includes the threats posed by North Korea and a Russia seeking to challenge the territorial integrity of its neighbours. He also spoke of the enduring importance of the UK–US Alliance and of Britain’s continued moral voice on the world stage, as Policy Exchange argued for in The Cost of Doing Nothing. He also praised Policy Exchange’s record of thought leadership in making the case for a Global Britain’s continued commitment to NATO.


  • Wednesday, 27 June, 2018
    11:00 - 12:30

At a time of growing international instability, the Five Eyes intelligence arrangements (which brings the UK together with the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) is of vital important to the security of Britain and its allies. While questions are being raised over the long-term future of NATO, Five Eyes represents another crucial pillar of our national security – mitigating threats from hostile states, terrorism, and other non state actors. Why does the continuation of the Five Eyes matter and what can be done to support and enhance it for the challenges ahead?


  • Thursday, 21 June, 2018
    10:00 - 11:30

The UK Climate Change Act went through Parliament 10 years ago with cross-party support – marking a political consensus on climate action that has continued ever since and serving as an international template. Former Labour Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, Conservative Energy Minister Claire Perry, Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Baroness Featherstone and Climate Change Committee CEO Chris Stark were joined by a packed audience to consider how successive governments have tackled the issue and how to get to net zero carbon emissions.


  • Thursday, 7 June, 2018
    9:00 - 11:00

In his only public appearance on his UK visit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed by William Shawcross at Policy Exchange. Deeming the Iran nuclear deal ‘defunct’, the Prime Minister said that a realignment was taking place in the Middle East, with relations improving between Israel and Sunni nations. He also had words of praise for Presidents Trump and Obama.

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