Environmental Affairs – The Geopolitics of Climate Change

Environmental Affairs is Policy Exchange’s quarterly journal, which explores the implications of the growing role of environmental policy. As environmental questions are increasingly felt in other areas, from economics, to security, to foreign affairs, we look at what these overlaps will mean. Our contributors are world leaders, distinguished thinkers and experts in their fields, drawn from the UK and around the world.

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Capital Shift

In 2021, the UK will host the G7 and COP26 and take a key part in other major summits, giving it a unique opportunity to lead the global diplomatic agenda. This report argues that he UK should use its position to drive a programme of green finance reforms that will enable a fundamental shift to a sustainable global economy.

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Charging Up

The Energy & Environment Unit at Policy Exchange launched a paper warning that the installation of electric vehicle chargepoints would have to be five times faster during the 2020s to make the petrol and diesel vehicle ban workable. The report was authored by Ed Birkett, Senior Fellow and William Nicolle, Research Fellow at Policy Exchange. The release coincided with the Government’s announcement of £20m additional funding for EV charging infrastructure. Read coverage of the report in The Telegraph, Sky News, Bloomberg and BBC News. Read the report here.

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Charging Up

The UK’s commitment to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 was at the heart of the Prime Minister’s recent ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’.  This commitment reflects both sharp reductions in the cost of electric vehicles (EVs) and the urgent need to clean up the transport sector, which is now the UK’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Powering Net Zero

The UK Government’s commitment to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030 will transform Great Britain’s electricity system. However, it poses serious challenges for the electricity market. Market conditions during the summer lockdown showed that the Government needs to make reforms, otherwise costs will rise and customers won’t benefit from the falling cost of wind and solar.

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The Future of the North Sea

The North Sea is strategically central to meeting the UK’s target of Net Zero emissions by 2050. By fully developing offshore wind, the North Sea could provide one-third of the UK’s energy needs, and this proportion will grow if low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) are also fully developed.

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Latest Environment & Energy Publications

Going, Going, Gone: The role of auctions and competition in renewable electricity support

Going, Going, Gone: The role of auctions and competition in renewable electricity support

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This report calls for plans to introduce auctioning to enable all technologies to compete on a level playing field should be brought forward. It points to Brazil, where prices for onshore wind have dropped to world record lows since auctioning was introduced. If the UK can achieve a even a fraction of the results from Brazil, it would allow much greater decarbonisation for the available budget.

Getting Interconnected: How can interconnectors compete to help lower bills and cut carbon?

Getting Interconnected: How can interconnectors compete to help lower bills and cut carbon?

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Connecting the UK to power stations in other countries could help bring down energy bills and meet our decarbonisation targets. Getting Interconnected shows that interconnectors could save British consumers as much as £1bn a year, as well as allowing access to zero-carbon electricity. The report calls for overseas generators to be allowed to compete for government subsidy in the new capacity market and endorses ways to ensure that revenue supports development of new interconnector links.

Latest Environment & Energy Blogs

Clean Growth: How can we improve business energy efficiency?

Clean Growth: How can we improve business energy efficiency?

Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment unit announces the launch of its new project looking at the opportunities for and barriers to boosting business energy efficiency. Richard Howard and Joshua Burke set out the context for this project, and identify the important questions they will seek to answer.

What has been missed or misunderstood in this week’s Euratom debate?

What has been missed or misunderstood in this week’s Euratom debate?

Matt Rooney — Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Research Fellow — reflects on the way in which the Government’s view that leaving the EU must also mean leaving Euratom has made this previously obscure treaty into a ‘political battleground’. Calling for a national discussion about how to withdraw from Euratom smoothly, he posits that this will be the ‘first real test of the UK’s ability to leave the EU and open up to the world’.

Latest Environment & Energy News

Global warming and the threat to humanity

Global warming and the threat to humanity

Up In the Air, Policy Exchange’s new report on air pollution in London, is covered in a leader column in the Evening Standard. The report shows that in some London boroughs as many as 60% of school children go to school in areas with air pollution that is higher than the legal limit.

Latest Environment & Energy Events

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A clearer vision of India’s place as a leader has helped to move India towards climate action but requires action from the West to keep it there, argues Mihir S Sharma in our new journal, Environmental Affairs. policyexchange.org.u…