Environmental Policy and Energy

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    Policy action is urgently needed to deflate the ‘carbon bubble’ and encourage investment in renewable energies

Policy action is urgently needed to deflate the ‘carbon bubble’ and encourage investment in renewable energies

The ‘carbon bubble’ refers to the over-valuation of certain publicly-traded energy companies with substantial fossil fuel assets. Financial markets aren’t currently incorporating the need to keep much of these fossil fuel reserves in the ground due to environmental imperatives. The carbon bubble and simultaneous under-investment in clean energy demonstrate again the limits of a financial sector intent on maximising […]

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    With Caroline Lucas found not guilty in the fracking trial, it is time to ponder Britain’s energy future

With Caroline Lucas found not guilty in the fracking trial, it is time to ponder Britain’s energy future

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, and her co-accused have been found not guilty for their role during an anti-fracking protest in Balcombe. Rupert Read takes the opportunity to praise Lucas for standing up to the fracking industry. He laments the continuing subsidisation of the fossil fuel industries and argues that renewable sources of energy offer a way to blow […]

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    Fracking is unlikely to reduce gas prices to the extent its proponents desire

Fracking is unlikely to reduce gas prices to the extent its proponents desire

David Cameron has expressed his desire to build a shale gas industry in Britain as a way of lowering cost, seeking to replicate the US where the extraction of shale gas has caused prices to plummet. However, as Anthony McDonnell argues, the UK and US differ in many respects when it comes to shale gas. Importantly, the UK is integrated in […]

Managing flood risk: Why flood insurance needs to send the right signals

Anticipatory action and preparedness is much more economic than providing disaster aid. However, there have recently been many missed opportunities to put sensible long-term risk management in response to climate change at the heart of policy making. The Government’s proposed flood insurance scheme, known as Flood Re, is a key pillar in the strategy of sharing risks and distributing the costs […]

Extreme weather events used to be referenced to convince people of the threats posed by climate change. Now they are considered the new normal

Extreme weather in the UK and abroad is increasingly described by the media as the ‘new normal’. Rather than discussing future and distant climate predictions, this terminology recasts climate change as something happening right now, and no longer treated as hypothetical. However, the link between extreme weather and climate change is rarely made explicitly in media coverage of events such […]

The costs of the UK storms and floods in context

Bob Ward looks at the economic costs of the ongoing spate of flooding in comparison with past years. Moreover, he notes that since 2000 the UK has experienced both four of its five wettest years and its seven warmest years on record, reflecting the local impact of global climate change. It is still too early to full assess the economic impacts of […]

As national politicians drag their feet, cities are taking the lead in meeting national low carbon ambitions

It is cities, not national governments, that are increasingly taking the lead in pursuing lower carbon growth. Ed Clarke summarises research by the Centre for Cities that highlights the innovative and practical ways that cities are tackling environmental and economic challenges. UK cities are critical in driving down emissions and supporting more carbon efficient growth. Whilst much of the rhetoric about […]

Britain needs an overhaul in the way it implements and makes decisions about energy policy

In Germany, wholesale energy prices have fallen 50% since 2008. As the UK energy debate rages on, Catherine Mitchell argues that the process of energy policy decision-making and implementation needs to change so that the benefits of innovation come through in this country. When in doubt announce another review.  In this case, the Energy Market Review – even though Electricity […]