Governments all over Europe are crafting policies and regulations that will lead to electric vehicles almost entirely replacing diesel and petrol cars within thirty years. In the UK, national policies are focused on creating the infrastructure for the electric vehicle revolution, but other policy initiatives and conflicting local priorities could impede the wider public policy goal.
To a rather muted fanfare, the British Government published its industrial strategy green paper last month. As far as the energy and climate change audience were concerned, in the run-up to the publication of the strategy, the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Department (BEIS) – a department still in its infancy - was essentially facing two challenges:
2016 has built on the momentum of the Paris Agreement. But the election of Donald Trump in the US has placed question-marks over whether this momentum can be maintained, or if recent progress will be derailed. At the conclusion of COP 22 in Marrakesh, this analysis piece considers the state-of-play and the prospects for 2017.
On 6 October, a new acronym was introduced to the world of aviation and climate change. CORSIA – the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation – is the outcome of what many in the aviation industry have described as an “historic agreement” to tackle the burgeoning problem of aviation emissions.
Natural capital — a term for the earth’s natural resources and support systems that benefit human society — is the underlying focus of our environmental laws and policies. The Clean Air and (Clean) Water Acts of the US and UK are two aptly-named examples of previous policies designed to protect natural resources.
In the run-up to last Thursday’s EU referendum, policy direction, announcements and news flow dried up as the politicians became increasingly consumed with the debate. Following the tumultuous decision taken by the British people, this piece considers the in-tray that the Government - above all, DECC, but in addition other parts of Whitehall - needs to return to on energy and climate matters.
Politicians have shown they are serious - to achieve a positive outcome, the negotiators need to do the same.
For those not acquainted with the international negotiations on climate change - perhaps even more so for those who have that first-hand experience - they are at best an irritant, at worst a pointless relevance. Since the UNFCCC process began in the early 1990s after the international community agreed that “dangerous” climate change should be addressed, negotiators have gathered year after year in different parts of the world to discuss how the international community can take action to mitigate the climate problem and how the most seriously affected regions (usually in poorer countries) can adapt to the changes brought about by the steady increase in atmospheric and sea temperatures.
On 1 December representatives of the 196 parties (member countries) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather in Lima for the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) international meeting. The climate negotiations have in recent years - especially since the conspicuous failure of parties at Copenhagen in 2009 to agree an international treaty - tended to be regarded as a non-event, an interminable discussion from which nothing material ever emerges. Will Lima, COP 20, be any different?
The issue of deforestation and forest degradation, as explained in our previous analysis piece, has to be addressed urgently by donor and tropical forest countries alike. At present, these governments face the challenge of creating new regulatory frameworks to protect the world’s tropical forests. This, however, cannot be achieved without the collaboration of the private sector, a non-state actor which will play a key role in this process.