Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Urgency and Climate Change. Introducing the site.

The BIEE Climate Change Policy Group has developed a number of positions on core issues in the energy policy and climate change debate. We are a group of energy economists who believe strongly both that climate change is possibly the most serious issue facing society today and that the general economic analysis of the problems has been inadequate. In our work we have tried to both instil a degree of urgency into policy making and to provide a rational analysis of some of the complex issues involved. In brief:

1. We have, with others, successfully argued the case for an ambitious 80% reduction target by 2050. See our response of December 2006 to the Stern review, which covers this and a wide range of other recommendations.

2. We have identified a number of priorities in reducing UK carbon emissions, starting with the decarbonisation of the power sector. Many of these have been recognised in the development of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) approach.

3. We have recognised that there are major imperfections in energy markets, and advise against undue reliance on pure market solutions. See for example our analysis of weaknesses in electricity markets.

4. We believe policy makers have failed to recognise the full social costs of current emissions in particular, and the fact that the cumulative nature of CO2 emphasises the destructive effect of current emissions. This enhances the case for urgency in action on emissions and argues against a "wait and see" approach.

5. We have continued to comment on CCC reports and submit evidence on our views to the Committee and to Parliamentary Select Committees. Our individual and collective contributions were recognised in the Committee's most recent October 2009 report.

6. Our most recent posting deals with the issue of securing investment in capital intensive, low carbon electricity generation, which is central to securing a low carbon economy. It raises the issues of the inability of energy markets to provide adequate signals for this essential investment.

This site has been prepared primarily as a resource for policy makers in the arena of energy policy and climate change, and contains most of our published material, organised by category. However we also welcome comments on this site, and comments are accepted, after moderation, either in this section or on the individual papers.

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