Environment & Energy

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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Bigger, Better Forests

Increasing tree cover in the UK is a matter of land use policy.
This simple fact is often forgotten amid a rush to re-forest Britain through multiple schemes and interventions. This seemingly overlooks the fact that silviculture – the art and science of growing trees – is just one subset of land management.
In the last 25 years, several government-backed new forests have been established or proposed, from the mid-1990s National Forest to the most recent ‘Northern Forest’, which is to stretch across the North East and North West of England. Though laudable and important (we propose a project of our own in this report), these schemes alone are not sufficient to address more fundamental barriers to tree planting, many of which are the direct results of public subsidies for a particular model of farming.

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Net Zero needs a democratic mandate

Related Content Net Zero will face a backlash if it doesn’t attain a proper mandate – this election must give it one, argues Benedict McAleenan from Policy Exchange This article was originally published at BusinessGreen.com   Whether its ‘Essex...
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Boris Johnson sets out the vision for his Premiership

Boris Johnson set out his vision for the United Kingdom on the steps of Downing Street yesterday – in the course of which he embraced many of the ideas championed by Policy Exchange in our series of policy proposals for the next Prime Minister.

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carbon tax policy

Policy Exchange plan to tackle carbon emissions recommended by Government Committee

In a major win for Policy Exchange, the official body advising the UK Government has recommended it considers the adoption of carbon border adjustment tariffs to help meet the Net Zero carbon emissions target.

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Latest Environment & Energy Publications

Driving down emissions: How to clean up road transport?

Driving down emissions: How to clean up road transport?

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In this major new report — by Policy Exchange’s Head of Energy and Environment, Richard Howard, alongside Matt Rooney, Zoe Begherbi, and David Charlesworth — the case is set out that the Government must take more action now to tackle the twin problems of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from road transport. Amongst other key findings, the report’s analysis reveals that hitting carbon targets will leave a £9-23 billion p.a. hole in tax receipts by 2030, and that official estimates of vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency are highly misleading.

Going Round in Circles: Developing a new approach to waste policy following Brexit

Going Round in Circles: Developing a new approach to waste policy following Brexit

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Brexit presents a huge opportunity for the UK Government to develop a new approach to waste and resources policy. Rather than adopting the EU’s proposed ‘Circular Economy Package’, which would cost British businesses an extra £2 billion over the next twenty years, the British government should use Brexit to define our own approach.

Latest Environment & Energy Blogs

Challenges and opportunities for the UK trade in waste

Challenges and opportunities for the UK trade in waste

Following his evidence session to the Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub Committee, Energy and Environment Research fellow Joshua Burke reflects on the opportunities and challenges facing the UKs trade in waste post Brexit. The impact of tariff and non-tariff barriers on the regulatory, spatial, environmental and economic dimensions that govern the UK’s trade in waste are examined in the context of Refuse Derived Fuel.

The Helm Cost of Energy Review: the invisible hand versus the activist state

The Helm Cost of Energy Review: the invisible hand versus the activist state

Matthew Rooney, Energy and Environment Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, responds to Dieter Helm’s recent Cost of Energy Review. The review, commissioned by the Government and released last week, sparked much debate online. The main dividing line, Rooney explains, is between those who believe that an activist state and large subsidies for renewable energy deployment are necessary to bring down costs, and those who think the Government’s main role is to create a level playing field for low carbon technologies to compete without subsidy. Helm’s big idea is a carbon tax with border carbon adjustments. Could that work and what are its potential benefits?

The Clean Growth Strategy: worth the wait?

The Clean Growth Strategy: worth the wait?

Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Research Fellows, Matthew Rooney and Joshua Burke, respond to the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy. The long awaited strategy document detailing how the UK will meet their emissions reductions targets was published on Thursday. In it there is positive news for onshore wind, nuclear power and the hydrogen economy, whilst fracking is a notable absence. A next big decision for the Government to make is whether the UK will remain in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Policy Exchange are currently conducting research into the potential benefits of leaving the scheme and implementing a British carbon tax system.

Latest Environment & Energy News

The electric economy: achieving our low carbon energy future

The electric economy: achieving our low carbon energy future

Policy Exchange hosted top experts from industry and Parliament for a debate on the future of Britain’s electricity system and the potential role of small modular nuclear reactors in meeting our energy needs. Rachel Reeves MP (Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee) introduced our distinguished panel of speakers including Rt Hon Lord Howell of Guildford (former Secretary of State for Energy), Harry Holt (President of Rolls-Royce Nuclear) and Dr Jenifer Baxter (Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers). Lord Howell’s comments on the opportunities Brexit presents for nuclear research were covered by the Telegraph.

Latest Environment & Energy Events

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