Tag Archives: Innovation

The renewable energy backlash – Part 2

In the previous post, I reviewed the current controversy about the costs of expanding offshore wind, and the argument made by organisations like Policy Exchange that we could meet our 2020 carbon targets more cheaply simply by bringing in a carbon tax and switching from coal to gas in power generation.

The PEx argument raises a number of challenges. Continue reading



Filed under Energy prices, Renewable energy, UK politics

The limits to environmentalism 4

Welcome to the second of two posts discussing Tim Jackson’s Prosperity without Growth (PWG), which has become a Bible of the environmentalist movement in the UK over the last year. In the previous post, I questioned the way Jackson focused on an end to growth in the rich world, which would not provide anything like a solution to the problems of breaching ecological limits and, on Jackson’s own numbers, is less important than questions about exactly how much growth the poor world will be possible and how we can accelerate the decoupling of growth from carbon emissions.

For me, this is probably the major problem with the no-growth argument. But I think there are also two others. Continue reading


Filed under Decoupling, Environmentalists, Growth, Innovation

The limits to environmentalism – Part 3

A year on from our controversial review of Growth isn’t Possible by the New Economics Foundation, we’re venturing back into the fray. As it comes out in paperback, here’s our take on one the most high-profile and influential environmentalist books of the last year – Tim Jackson’s Prosperity without growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (henceforth PWG).

Very very briefly, PWG says that Continue reading


Filed under Decoupling, Environmentalists, Growth, Innovation

CCC: Cuts to low-carbon RD&D “detrimental”

An update on our most recent post – on Monday the UK’s independent statutory climate advisory group, the Climate Change Committee chaired by Adair Turner, brought out a new report on low carbon innovation. One of its main findings is Continue reading

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Filed under Climate policies, Innovation, UK politics

Getting to grips with innovation


A post from guest blogger Reg Platt

As regular readers will know Political Climate thinks the focus of climate policy should be on innovation to reduce the cost of low-carbon technology rather than on forcing up the cost of carbon intensive energy. But, innovation is not straightforward and more money does not necessarily mean the right results. This is lesson coming out of two recent events I attended Continue reading

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India and Climate Negotiations

India has often been seen as an awkward customer in international processes. While this is indubitably true in the climate negotiations, it is not merely because of negotiating style. Rather, it is down to India’s complex national interests, which are no less pressing and from a political perspective arguably more knife-edge critical than those faced by the US.

There is no other country quite like India. As the World Bank’s country overview shows, while poverty rates have been reduced in the past two decades, more than one quarter of the rural and urban population remain poor in absolute terms. Continue reading


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A New Response to Climate Change

For six weeks, Political Climate has been finding its feet in the blogosphere. Much of what we’ve written hitherto has been aimed at making our views clear on some of the most important issues in the climate change debate. Thus we’ve covered growth, innovation, the underlying politics of climate change and geo-politics.

It’s hard to reflect on the shortcomings of conventional environmental wisdom without sounding negative, but this blog’s main aim is to contribute towards a renewal in thinking about climate change. Indeed, it is our desire to see the negative language and imagery of climate change replaced by a resolutely optimistic debate.

The ‘About‘ link above will take you to a longer explanation of our aims. We are also developing a Political Climate manifesto and a set of proposals for work in areas in which thinking needs to be developed, such as innovation policy and finance. In the meantime, we’ve been working on the appearance of the site and we owe its new smoothness to Lawrence. If you like what you see, we urge you to sign up to receive notification of new posts using the box at the top of the column on the right-hand-side of the page.

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