Crossed Wires

The sheer number of new wind farms now planned in the UK means that there is increasing local concern over the number of new ‘grid connections’ required to connect offshore wind farms to the onshore electricity network. Without more coordination between projects, the impact of this new infrastructure on local communities and the environment risks similar local backlash to onshore wind farms and fracking.

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Beyond COP26: The UK’s Green USPs

This report launches Policy Exchange’s new programme, Beyond COP26, in the run up to the COP26 climate conference that the UK will host in Glasgow later this year. The programme is co-chaired by two former Energy Secretaries, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP and Rt Hon Amber Rudd.

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Is Net Zero a “dangerous trap”?

Voices in the environment sector have long fired criticisms at Net Zero, the Government’s target for eradicating emissions by the middle of this century. Last year, Greta Thunberg argued that the world should ‘forget’ Net Zero, and an article recently posted by The Conversation argued it is a “dangerous trap”. However, the opposite is true; Net Zero is a practical and a political victory for the decarbonisation agenda, not a dangerous trap worth forgetting.

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Good moves in the Government’s Trees Action Plan

The Government’s tree strategy for England arrived this week, setting out a range of welcome measures designed to meet its manifesto promise of 30,000 hectares of new trees per year by the end of the Parliament. That’s about three times the current rate and it’s a tall order. Compared to places like France and Germany, which have tree cover upwards of 30%, the UK has a paltry 13%.

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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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Latest Environment & Energy Publications

Capital Shift

Capital Shift

and

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.

Charging Up

Charging Up

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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.

Powering Net Zero

Powering Net Zero

and

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.

Latest Environment & Energy Blogs

Will history repeat itself on negative emissions?

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.

Brexit offers a chance to revive Thatcherite energy policy

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.

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

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.

Latest Environment & Energy News

Michael Taylor gives evidence to Environment Committee

Michael Taylor gives evidence to Environment Committee

Farmers should be rewarded for land stewardship and public goods, and removing tariffs will increase consumer choice and keep prices down, helping the poorest most. That was the message Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow Michael Taylor gave to the EFRA Select Committee when discussing Farming Tomorrow, our seminal report on opportunities for replacing the Common Agricultural Policy after Brexit.

Policy Exchange report on Small Modular Reactors features in Financial Times

Policy Exchange report on Small Modular Reactors features in Financial Times

Policy Exchange’s report on Small Modular Reactors featured in a Financial Times article on the challenges faced by the nuclear industry. Energy and Environment Research Fellow Matt Rooney commented that SMRs are “among the best options for meeting the “previously unthinkable levels of new low-carbon electricity” that will be needed in coming years to charge electric vehicles and replace coal and gas”.

Latest Environment & Energy Events

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