Fight over grants for EVs shows that climate policies need an endgame.

Last month the Government announced a surprise cut to the grants available for buyers of new electric vehicles (EVs) and restricted eligibility to only the cheapest models.[1] The cut is the Government’s response to the growing popularity and falling prices of EVs, which threatens to blow the budget of the UK’s grant programme. The design of the grant programme sets up the Government to fail – to be seen as the climate Scrooge in the same year it hosts COP26, constantly intervening to cut support for EVs just as more drivers look to take the plunge.

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Will history repeat itself on negative emissions?

Negative emissions are piquing the interest of the Government, as shown in its recent  announcement of innovation funding for new negative emission technologies (NETs). However, policies based on grants and innovation funding are short-term options – they act as the spark to get the kindling going, but the fire requires continuous government support until the flame catches.

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Brexit offers a chance to revive Thatcherite energy policy

The Government’s post-Brexit “Better Regulation Committee” is reportedly looking at ways to improve on EU regulations.[1],[2]­Policy Exchange’s recent report, Post-Brexit freedoms and opportunities for the UK, is one contribution to that debate.[3]Understandably, most of the focus has been on state aid, financial services and workers’ rights. One area that I think isn’t getting enough attention is energy markets.

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Reform energy market to ensure supplies when it’s not windy.

New figures show that 2020 was the greenest year yet for the UK’s electricity supply, with nearly 60% of electricity produced by low-carbon sources. Offshore wind is now the driving force behind the UK’s greener grid, growing by around a quarter annually and already providing 17% of our electricity.

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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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Latest Environment & Energy Publications

Greening the economy – not ‘green economy’

Greening the economy – not ‘green economy’

The current policy of subsidising select UK ‘green’ industries is based not on the subsidies for such selected sectors being the best way to reduce carbon emissions, but that a principal objective of these public subsidies is to promote UK growth, exports and employment. This is a big gamble, with renewables policies costing tens of billions of pounds more than necessary to meet 2020 carbon reduction targets.

Latest Environment & Energy Blogs

Forging a New Industrial Strategy for Britain

Forging a New Industrial Strategy for Britain

Richard Howard — Policy Exchange’s Head of Energy and Environment — and Jonathan Dupont — Economic and Social Policy Research Fellow — argue that a new industrial strategy is ‘about creating a British economy which is innovative and competitive, which benefits everyone’. This piece first appeared on CapX

Latest Environment & Energy News

Britain’s water crisis

Britain’s water crisis

The Guardian cites figures from Policy Exchange’s 2011 report Untapped Potentialwhich show that England and Wales are using 1.1bn-3.3bn liters of water a day more than our water bodies can deliver without being damaged.

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