Recent Blogs

UK Energy and Environment Policy Timeline

UK Energy and Environment Policy Timeline

The next 12 months are hugely important for the UK’s energy and environment policy, with the Government preparing to host the COP26 climate conference in in Glasgow in November 2021 and committing to ‘Build Back Better’ from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Policy Exchange is tracking around 30 milestones for UK energy and environment policies, which we have collated in the timeline below. We plan to update and maintain this timeline with the latest Government announcements, White Papers and consultation documents.

No, more wind power doesn’t mean the lights will go out

No, more wind power doesn’t mean the lights will go out

“We believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country.” This was the Prime Minister’s positive vision for a low-carbon UK that he set out in his Conference speech last week. Rather predictably, this has led to questions about what happens when the wind stops blowing. Not all of this criticism will be in good faith, but there is also a serious point.

What’s in a date?

What’s in a date?

The Guardian reports that Ministers are considering banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by as early as 2030, following calls from the Conservative MPs, the Government’s independent advisers on climate change, and the Labour Party. However, the UK is not yet on track to meet the Government’s existing target of 100% Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040, mainly due to a lack of an overarching policy to deliver the petrol and diesel phase-out.

What the UK-Japan trade deal signifies

What the UK-Japan trade deal signifies

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced that the UK has concluded a historic new free trade agreement with Japan, the UK’s first major trade deal post-Brexit. The agreement is an important step towards the UK’s ambition to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Poll finds public support for traditional hospital design

Poll finds public support for traditional hospital design

New public polling commissioned by Public Exchange has found a preference for traditional hospital design that favours natural light and private rooms.  This work in hospital design is part of a bigger project looking at the future of the hospital in Britain in the post COVID era, which will evaluate how new hospital building can better meet the needs of the NHS in the 21st century.

A lesson from Vienna in countering Islamist extremism

A lesson from Vienna in countering Islamist extremism

Austria (with which I should declare I have family ties) is perhaps more widely known for Apfelstrudel, the Salzburg Festival, alpine resorts and Conchita Würst than as a European policy leader. It’s been a while since Bruno Kreisky’s edgy Middle East activism or Vienna’s early – and highly effective – engagement with conflict issues in the former Yugoslavia. On most issues, the country has largely been content to position itself in the middle of the EU pack. All perfectly sensible.

Farming is key to a UK-US trade deal, whoever is president

Farming is key to a UK-US trade deal, whoever is president

Later this month, the UK and the US will conduct the third round of talks on a new trade agreement. The successful conclusion of a deal with the US will be challenging but would provide a major strategic prize for the UK, as I explain in a new report for Policy Exchange released today, “The art of a UK-US trade deal”. The paper looks at the challenges and opportunities facing negotiators over the coming months.

Why universities had to be challenged

Why universities had to be challenged

It is now official. The helter skelter expansion of UK higher education ushered in 21 years ago by Tony Blair’s pledge to send half of school leavers to university is now at an end.

And the announcement by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, came not a moment too soon. The headlong rush into mass academic higher education, leapfrogging even the US, happened faster in the UK than in most other comparable countries and it seemed to happen on automatic pilot, with remarkably little thought given to the economic or social consequences. The only serious debate we ever had was on tuition fees.

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