Environment & Energy

California dreaming: A plan to phase out petrol and diesel cars that might actually work

Related Content Transport is now the UK’s biggest source of climate-warming greenhouse gases. While other sectors slash their carbon footprint, our cars alone continue to produce 15 per cent of annual emissions — and the figure is still rising. To tackle this, earlier...
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Route ‘35

Transport is now the UK’s biggest source of climate-warming greenhouse gases. While other sectors slash their emissions, cars continue to produce 15% of our annual emissions, and the figure is still rising.

To solve this, the Government plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Here Policy Exchange sets out how this can be achieved, following best international practice.

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Scrapping the scrappage scheme

It is welcome news that UK Government has dismissed reports that it was considering a scrappage scheme for petrol and diesel cars as a short-term economic stimulus measure. In a typical scrappage scheme, the government would pay car owners to scrap their current vehicle in return for credit against a new one, thereby stimulating the manufacturing sector. However, scrappage schemes are generally not a desirable policy, because they tend to be an inefficient use of public funds, work against the grain of transport decarbonisation, and send mixed price signals alongside Electric Vehicle subsidies.

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Electricity markets under pressure

The Coronavirus has challenged all sectors of the UK economy, and electricity markets have been no exception. Electricity demand is down by as much as 20%, causing periods of negative electricity prices and unprecedented strain on the Electricity System Operator (ESO), run by National Grid. The ESO is responsible for ensuring that the system can respond to lightning strikes and faults at power stations, and that power lines don’t become overloaded. To do this, the ESO takes “balancing actions”, paying to turn down some generators and paying to turn up others.

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Outbreaks and Spillovers

Zoonotic pathogens (those that originate in animals) are a growing risk to human populations. There were three times as many outbreaks in the 1990s as in the 1940s, and cases continue to rise. The majority of new infectious diseases originate in animals, including well-known diseases such as SARS, avian flu, Ebola and HIV. Whilst too early to say for sure, it is likely that SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) originated in bats. Here Policy Exchange examines what is to be done to reduce the threat to human health and the global economy.

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Time to plant – and harvest – more trees

All political parties agree that the UK needs more trees, but stimulating markets to support forestry and supporting sustainable wood use also needs to be part of land policy after Brexit, argues a new paper from Policy Exchange’s award-winning Energy and Environment...
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The dangers of energy ‘targetism’

The dangers of energy ‘targetism’

Guy Newey, Head of Environment & Energy at Policy Exchange, argues that Tim Yeo MP is wrong to call for the inclusion of a 2030 decarbonisation target for the electricity sector in the upcoming Energy Bill, warning of the problems with trying to set legislation according to long-term predictions.

The risks of a never-ending search for certainty in the energy market

The risks of a never-ending search for certainty in the energy market

Guy Newey, Policy Exchange’s Head of Environment & Energy, sets out the challenges of providing certainty in the energy market, arguing that the government should try and balance the interests of investors with those of bill payers by making as few decisions as possible, as quickly as possible.

Low carbon and lower bills — Can the circle be squared?

Low carbon and lower bills — Can the circle be squared?

Simon Less, Senior Consultant for Regulatory Policy at Policy Exchange, argues that it is hard to predict what the best and cheapest carbon technologies will be to reduce carbon emmissions and lower carbon bills, and stresses that the design of policy needs to reflect this.

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RT @DomWalsh13 Good @lizzzburden piece, ft a quote from my @Policy_Exchange colleague Stephen Booth on the value of EU rollovers: “In a world where there’s increasing economic nationalism, the value of locking in existing market access shouldn’t be taken for granted.” telegraph.co.uk/busi…

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