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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Latest Environment & Energy Publications

Clean Growth: How to boost business energy productivity

Clean Growth: How to boost business energy productivity

The Government should establish a new Energy Efficiency Delivery Unit and Energy Performance Certificates should be linked to business rates to incentivise landlords to invest more in energy efficiency, according to Clean Growth, the new report from Policy Exchange’s influential and expert Energy and Environment team. The report calls for a new approach by Government to encourage investment in business energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions and improve business productivity. Existing tools like the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme can be much better used – and must be extended to public sector institutions like the NHS and MoD.

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

The secret to cheaper energy – it’s all in the cost curve

The secret to cheaper energy – it’s all in the cost curve

The cost of energy is frequently cited as one of the issues voters care about most, but how can we bring costs down? Various new electricity generation technologies, like wave energy, tidal lagoons and small modular nuclear reactors, stand on the precipice of mass deployment. But industry alone may not be willing or able to make the leap from demonstration and commercial deployment. Should the Government intervene to help bridge the gap? In this article originally published in Business Green, Policy Exchange Research Fellow Matt Rooney explores the concept of ‘technological learning’. Can other technologies replicate the success of solar panels and wind turbines to bring costs down and make them competitive with established technologies?

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

Latest Tweets

Head of Housing, Transport and the Urban Space, @bswud spoke to @JuliaHB1 about ‘Planning for the future’ You can listen below 👇 m.youtube.com/watch?…

Latest tweets from Richard Howard

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