Josh Burke

Policy Fellow

Josh is a Policy Fellow in the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment where he leads the policy analysis team on UK climate & energy policy.


Prior to joining the Grantham Institute, Josh was a Senior Research Fellow at Policy Exchange where he led the Energy and Environment department. He was responsible for designing, leading and delivering existing and new research projects focused on energy and environmental policies which respond to the most important questions the UK faces, as well as writing articles, organising events, and talking to policymakers, experts and opinion formers from government, academia, NGOs, Parliament and business.

Before this he worked as a Project Manager in an AiM listed renewable energy project developer focussing on distributed generation. His professional experience also includes work in the public policy sphere at both Chatham House and The Overseas Development Institute. He has a BSc in Geography from the University of Nottingham, and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

Research and policy interests

  • Understanding the barriers to the UK’S low-carbon energy transition
  • Design of economy-wide economic policy framework for decarbonisation.
  • The role of gas in a decarbonised world
  • Ensuring the political sustainability of climate policy
Policy publications  9 March, 2020

Distributional impacts of a carbon tax in the UK

This study explores the distributional impacts of a net-zero-consistent carbon price across different household types and income deciles in the UK; and examines which combination of interventions may reduce carbon consumption and still be progressive. The authors find that it is possible to design a revenue recycling scheme that leaves fuel-poor and low-income households better off while driving the transition to net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050. read more »


Policy publications  17 October, 2019

Submission to the Environment Agency’s consultation on the Draft National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England

This submission was made to the Environment Agency's consultation on its draft strategy for flood and coastal risk management in England, and draws on the Grantham Research Institute's work and expertise over many years in this area. read more »

Policy publications  20 September, 2019

Decarbonisation of the UK economy and green finance

The Grantham Research Institute’s response to the Commons Select Committee inquiry into decarbonisation of the UK economy highlights the Treasury’s unique position in government to drive the transition towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a focus on economic growth. read more »

Policy publications  2 August, 2019

Global lessons for the UK in carbon taxes

This policy brief analyses global trends in carbon taxation and differences in tax design around the world to draw out lessons for the design of a possible new carbon tax for the UK, as the country plans how to meet its ambitious new net-zero emissions target and how it prices carbon after Brexit. read more »

Policy publications  2 August, 2019

The future of carbon pricing: Consultation response

This written evidence was submitted on 12 July 2019 to the joint consultation into ‘The future of carbon pricing’, being carried out by the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland. read more »

Policy publications  22 May, 2019

How to price carbon to reach net-zero emissions in the UK

This report explains the importance of pricing carbon as a key component of any strategy to reach net-zero emissions in the UK, setting out how the price may differ sector to sector and how to incentivise negative emissions. read more »

More in policy publications

Commentary  31 March, 2020

Covid-19, emissions trading and the implications for a future UK ETS

The impact of Covid-19 on the price of carbon illustrates just how important it is to build flexibility into cap-and-trade systems and this is something policymakers should remember for the design of the UK’s post-Brexit emissions trading system, argue Josh Burke and Luca Taschini. read more »

Commentary  5 February, 2020

Negative emissions under a net zero target: navigating the controversies and pitfalls

Josh Burke examines the costs, opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of different carbon capture and negative emissions technologies. read more »

In the news  31 January, 2020

What will Brexit mean for climate action in EU and UK?

Josh Burke discusses (in this article for EU Observer) what Brexit will mean for UK climate policy and considers options for carbon pricing if it withdraws from the EU ETS. read more »


In the news  1 October, 2019

How Britain ended its coal addiction

In this article looking at the decline of coal use in the UK Josh Burke says a confluence of market drivers & regulatory interventions (in particular the introduction of a carbon price support scheme in 2013) have steered the UK away from coal. read more »

Commentary  3 September, 2019

Neglect of duty: Why cutting fuel duty is incompatible with a net-zero UK

Reports that the British Government will reveal plans to cut fuel duty in this week’s pre-Budget announcement are dismaying just four months after it committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, says Josh Burke, especially when there is consensus on how to cut emissions from the transport sector. read more »

In the news  29 August, 2019

Climate crisis: UK cannot reach net zero emissions 'if ministers remain fixed on economic growth'

This article reflects on comments made by the government’s chief environment scientist on the UK's net zero target. In the article Josh Burke refers to research by the Grantham Research Institute which shows how achieving net zero and maintaining economic growth are not mutually exclusive. read more »

In the news  2 August, 2019

What the UK can learn from carbon pricing schemes

Josh Burke and Rebecca Byrnes discuss new research into global approaches to carbon pricing. read more »

Commentary  27 July, 2019

To what extent should we be talking of ‘waging war’ on climate change?

Josh Burke argues that using the metaphor of war could be detrimental to communicating the climate message – but may help encourage the investment in innovation and structural changes we need. read more »

Commentary  24 June, 2019

A strong carbon price to help the UK get to net-zero

Carbon pricing could form the policy bedrock for a net-zero target, argues Josh Burke Inaction on climate change puts the world in grave danger. Action must, therefore, be accelerated. This … read more »

Commentary  30 April, 2019

What is net zero?

What does ‘net-zero’ emissions mean and what are the challenges – from technological to moral – to achieving it, in the UK and worldwide? read more »

Commentary  28 February, 2019

Is the UK doing enough to prepare for the last days of coal and the eventual phase-out of oil and gas?

The UK’s coal phase-out may be proceeding apace but there remains a gap where ‘just transition’ plans should sit – for coal and for other fossil fuel industry – argues Josh Burke. read more »


Commentary  30 October, 2018

What does the October 2018 Budget mean for UK carbon pricing in a no-deal Brexit?

To tax or to trade – that is the question. Following the October Budget, and as Brexit looms, Josh Burke assesses the policy landscape around carbon pricing in the UK. read more »

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