LSE Grantham Research Institute responds to Spring Statement

UK Treasury building (Credit: iStock)

The Grantham Research Institute has today responded to the UK Government’s Spring Statement (13 March 2019), in which a new Future Homes Standard was announced, which would prevent new build homes from being heated by fossil fuels.

Professor Sam Fankhauser, Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“The Chancellor is right to recognise the importance of addressing urgent climate change issues, which young people in Britain have put a spotlight on.

“Fossil fuel-free heating in new homes from 2025 is a welcome step towards reducing carbon emissions and helping the UK achieve its legally binding targets.

“Ensuring new homes are heated without relying on oil, coal or gas has the potential to significantly reduce emissions, especially if these are accompanied by measures to make homes more energy efficient. To be fully effective, stringent standards for new homes need to be complemented by more funding for energy efficiency upgrades in existing homes, such as for insulation and better boilers.”

The Government also announced a new review into the link between biodiversity and growth.

Professor Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“A new global review of the economic value of biodiversity is a welcome opportunity to assess the threats to plant and animal species, including insects, and their habitats across the world. It will assess the world’s natural capital, which consists of the world’s stocks of geology, soil, air, water and all living things.

“The current rapid depletion of our oceans, landscapes, and wildlife is having severe effects on our lives and livelihoods. It is important that this review examines the scale and urgency of potential action on biodiversity and ecosystems risks, so that we can consider, in an evidenced-based way, how to manage these risks and the net economic benefits of different approaches. As we carry out this work it is important to examine how, biodiversity, oceans and climate interact and how economic activity and natural capital can be managed in a complementary and sustainable way.

“The review is an opportunity to take into account the potential discovery of new medicines and other benefits that we can and do gain from biodiversity and to understand more deeply the benefits that natural capital brings to our well-being and potential economic development.”

 

For more information about this media release please contact Kieran Lowe on +44 (0) 20 7107 5442 or k.lowe@lse.ac.uk or Bob Ward on +44 (0) 7811 320346 or r.e.ward@lse.ac.uk.

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. Lord Stern is chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, and I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From July 2013 to July 2017, Lord Stern was President of the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Lord Stern was with HM Treasury between October 2003 and May 2007. He served as Second Permanent Secretary and Head of the Government Economic Service, head of the review of the economics of climate change (the results of which were published in ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review’ in October 2006), and director of policy and research for the Commission for Africa. His previous posts included Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Chief Economist and Special Counsellor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Baron Stern of Brentford was introduced in December 2007 to the House of Lords, where he sits on the independent cross-benches. He was recommended as a non-party-political life peer by the UK House of Lords Appointments Commission in October 2007. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015 and a Companion of Honour in 2017.
  2. The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (http://www.cccep.ac.uk/) is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/). The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
  3. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (http://www.granthamfoundation.org/).

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