A key strand of our work is focused on engaging decision-makers in the UK on policy issues related to climate change and the environment.
The Institute produces policy analysis drawing on research from both the Institute and beyond, with the aim of communicating clear, evidence-based insights through produce policy reports and briefs. These span a broad sweep of issues including energy policy, sustainable finance, and clean growth, among others.
The Institute’s engagement with decision-makers ranges across government departments and agencies, and includes active participation in consultations and parliamentary inquires.
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 »
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 »
Nick Robins explores how UK banks and investors are starting to get behind the just transition that is needed for the country to reach its new net-zero target. read more »
The UK Parliament is due to pass the legislation this week that amends the long-term 2050 target for annual greenhouse gases in the Climate Change Act 2008 to net zero … read more »
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 »
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 »
Patrick Curran considers the findings of a new parliamentary report on UK aid for combating climate change. read more »
Bob Ward sets out five urgent actions for the UK Government in response to the Committee on Climate Change’s new report on achieving net-zero emissions read more »
Business must deliver a step-change in its own ambitions and discourse if the UK is to meet a 2050 net-zero emissions target, argues Sam Unsworth. read more »
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 »
At 11 o’clock this morning thousands of school students in the UK walked out of their lessons to demand increased action on climate change. My 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter … read more »
In the first report from the Investing in a Just Transition UK project, the authors explore the extent of the challenge to ensure that action on climate change supports an inclusive economy in the UK, efforts that are already underway, and what actions investors can take. It includes a regional case study of Yorkshire and the Humber. read more »
With recent reports criticising the UK Government’s rollout of its smart meter implementation programme, Greer Gosnell and Daire McCoy review the costs and benefits and call for a revamp, particularly of consumer engagement. read more »
Upon publication of a new special report for the LSE Growth Commission, the authors outline why it is sensible for environmental sustainability to be at the heart of the UK’s growth strategy and how this can be achieved. read more »
Sustainable growth in the UK: Seizing opportunities from technological change and the transition to a low-carbon economy
This special report for the LSE Growth Commission shows why it is sensible for environmental sustainability to be at the heart of the UK’s growth strategy and how this can be achieved, setting out recommendations for government across the areas of innovation, infrastructure, skills and cities. read more »
New research into the link between political competition and fossil fuel taxation offers insight into the UK Government’s decision-making on fuel duty. Spoiler alert: it is all about electoral incentives. read more »
Why the energy efficiency gap is smaller than we think: quantifying heterogeneity and persistence in the returns to energy efficiency measures
This paper fills a gap in the literature by providing new evidence longer-term impact of energy efficiency measures in terms of savings, and how this varies by measure and household-type. read more »
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 »
Submission to the inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development on: UK aid for combating climate change
This written evidence responds to four questions set by the UK House of Commons Select Committee on International Development inquiry into ‘UK aid for combating climate change’. read more »
The Government is seeking advice on how the UK can achieve ‘net-zero’ emissions from across the economy. But why is net-zero on the table and what would it take to achieve it? read more »
10 years on from its establishment, this report assesses the role of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in shaping UK climate policy, drawing out lessons for international and domestic policymakers. read more »
Sam Fankhauser reflects on the successes of the UK’s independent climate advisory body 10 years after its establishment – and the challenges it faces for the future. read more »
The Paris Agreement does not just commit countries to cut emissions. All countries also need to put in place a policy framework for climate-consistent finance. Nick Robins argues that the UK could take a leadership position by setting out how this complex task could be achieved. read more »
This submission was made to Defra’s consultation on environmental principles and governance after the UK leaves the European Union. read more »
A summary report from two workshops on recent advances in social discounting practice and theory. This paper was prepared as a summary of a workshop held in April 2016 on … read more »
Sam Fankhauser, who was a founding member of the UK Committee on Climate Change looks back over its achievements and considers the challenges it may face in the coming years. read more »
The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy included plans to use green mortgages to incentivise people to make their homes more energy efficient but what are green mortgages and what evidence is there that they work? read more »
This paper responds to a question on overcoming potential barriers to the uptake of recoverable heat technologies in industry in the UK Government’s call for evidence on the Industrial Heat Recovery Support programme. read more »
This paper provides responses to selected questions in the UK government’s call for evidence on ‘Building a market for energy efficiency’. read more »
The UK Government has this week released new projections which confirm that its Clean Growth Strategy cannot currently achieve the Fourth and Fifth Carbon Budgets through reductions in domestic annual emissions of greenhouse gases between 2023 and 2032. read more »
This is a submission in response to a call for evidence on the reform of the Green Deal framework. The Green Deal was the UK’s flagship programme to improve energy efficiency of the building stock. read more »
Professor Dieter Helm’s Cost of Energy review was greeted in parts of the press with headlines like “excessive green taxes force up energy bills”. Sam Fankhauser analyses the review in the context of UK efforts to tackle climate change. read more »
Mobilising private sector funding and implementing a strong industrial strategy will be critical to the sucess of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy says Sam Fankhauser. read more »
GIB going, going, gone! The future of the Green Investment Bank and sustainable investment in the UK
The sale of the government-backed Green Investment Bank (GIB) for £2.3bn to a consortium led by Macquarie Group Limited has been completed this week. The sale has been met with criticism, … read more »
Environment researchers at UK universities are being wrongly gagged during the General Election campaign because of inconsistent and over-zealous applications of ‘purdah’, which began at midnight on 21 April. The … read more »
This paper was submitted in response to the UK Government’s industrial strategy green paper: ‘Building our industrial strategy‘.
Presentation given at ‘The impact of Brexit on the UK and European energy markets’ conference organised by Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute on 30 March 2017.
Submission to inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on ‘Leaving the EU: negotiation priorities for energy and climate change policy’
This submission to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s inquiry on Leaving the EU looks at which aspects of EU policy should be retained and the potential impact of Brexit on Paris Agreement pledges. read more »
It is vitally important that the public debate about the UK’s options for managing the risks of climate change is based on reliable and authoritative information about the costs. Unfortunately, … read more »
The new UK Government under Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to boosting UK productivity, to addressing the widening wealth gap, and to supporting the transition to low-carbon … read more »
Strengthening the UK’s flood insurance partnership in the face of rising risks: what role for property developers?
Florence Crick and Swenja Surminski outline ways in which property developers could help reduce flood insurance premiums. read more »
This paper explores the potential impact of a uniform £20 per tonne carbon price on fuels and production costs across all 106 industries that comprise the UK economy. read more »
This policy paper was submitted to HM Treasury in response to its consultation on ‘Reforming the business energy efficiency tax landscape’. read more »
Flood insurance in England – An assessment of the current and newly proposed insurance scheme in the context of rising flood risk
By applying our analytical framework we find an absence of formal incentive mechanisms for risk reduction in the existing and proposed Flood Re scheme. We identify the barriers for applying insurance to risk reduction and point to some possible modifications in the Flood Re proposal to deliver a greater link between risk transfer and risk reduction. read more »
Burden or opportunity? How UK emissions reductions policies affect the competitiveness of businesses
The ongoing review of the UK’s Fourth Carbon Budget is closely linked to the debate over the impact that domestic climate change policies can have on the competitiveness of businesses. … read more »
The UK Government is reviewing the fourth carbon budget for the period 2023-27. The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that the budget, which was originally legislated in … read more »
Paul Ekins, Will McDowall, and Dimitri Zenghelis, UCL, 2014. External link to report
Flood insurance in England – an assessment of the current and newly proposed insurance scheme in the context of rising flood risk
Flooding is the largest natural disaster risk in England and it is expected to rise even further as we experience a changing climate and continue putting … read more »
The UK has a complex system of energy taxes which affect the business sector. Overlaps between taxes mean that carbon prices are uneven across sectors and fuels, and … read more »
The British Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, which launched in April 2010, pays £500 million each year to the owners of small scale renewable energy installations for the clean … read more »
Private investors need to be persuaded to spend billions of pounds to create a cleaner and more efficient power sector for the UK. The Times – subscription is required.
Submission to inquiry on ‘Climate: public understanding and policy implications’ by the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology
Submission begins with a summary of the importance of public understanding of climate change, before considering some of the latest research on the state of public understanding of the science … read more »
An Independent National Adaptation Programme for England read more »
Reference Grover, D. December 2012. Conflicting duty for government? The UK’s new Green Investment Bank. Comment to WJS Europe.
All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group Panel presentation, House of Commons, November 2012 – External link to presentation
On Thursday, Boris Johnson will host the second of the Mayor of London 2012 Debates, which he claims are “London’s intellectual contribution to the [Olympic] Games”, and “will help define … read more »
The New Statesman, June 2012
Contributor, Westminster, 2 November 2011 – External link to publication
The conceptual basis and numerical quantification of the time discount rate (or rates) to use for public sector analysis have been debated for over half a … read more »
Michael Jacobs: The coalition’s proposed electricity market reform is radical, but Labour could go further with a green growth strategy the Guardian
Last week’s election results in England, Scotland and Wales demonstrated that climate change denial is still not a vote winner, and remains an issue that lies at the extreme fringes … read more »
Britain’s carbon budgets are domestic emissions objectives, adopted because they make sense for the UK. But climate change is a global problem. Committee on climate change – blog
Sir, The closure of Pfizer’s research centre in Kent (Reports, February 2) will deal yet another blow to the UK’s international competitiveness. Financial Times – registration required.
Nicholas Stern, Alex Bowen and Sam Fankhauser: We still have a long way to go, but this week’s climate decisions inch us towards the big target the Guardian
Author of the Stern review gives his verdict on the green measures announced in Alistair Darling’s 2009 budget the Guardian