Monthly Archives: January 2014

The politics of carbon pricing

EU 2030 FrameworkThe anti-renewables bandwagon is rolling ever faster. This started some time ago, but has now started to bite on policy, as seen in the EU’s 2030 proposals¬†which contain no¬†binding renewables target. There is an emerging view, to be found especially amongst economists (including The Economist) and on the centre-right (as opposed to the hard right anti-all climate policy view) that the focus should shift away from renewables support and back towards carbon pricing. Carbon pricing, the argument goes, will deliver emissions reduction at least cost. The implication is that, because it will be much cheaper than renewables, it will be politically a lot more popular, or at least easier.

I see two reasons for thinking that it’s not as simple as it seems, and that putting all hope in carbon pricing and backing off from renewables policy may run into trouble. Continue reading

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