Sporadic funding is stifling net zero ambitions at the local level and should be replaced with a systematic approach to planning, funding, and powers, according to a new report by Energy Systems Catapult. The report ‘Enabling Smart Local Energy Systems: Finance and Investment’ proposes moving away from one-off energy, transport and heat projects towards a systematic approach that delivers joined-up local energy communities to attract investment, drive clean economic growth and fund net zero. Philip New, Chief Executive of Energy Systems Catapult, said it was vital that a standardised and transparent approach to net zero was developed to deliver low carbon projects that were both tailored to local needs and aggregated across the UK to provide a credible investment pipeline – with the co-benefits of job creation, skills development, and air quality improvements. Philip New, said: “Local authorities have a pivotal role to play in the net zero transition, leveraging public funding to attract the private finance needed to deliver the clean technologies and infrastructure required by local communities. “Yet there is a risk that the potential value and co-benefits that integrated local systems can offer will be missed if investors focus only on siloed technologies and separate asset classes.”
Energy Systems Catapult 9th June 2021 read more »
Britain wants to be a global leader in free trade. But it also wants to be a global leader in tackling climate change. What happens when those two ambitions clash, when Britain’s tough environmental standards are perceived to be driving business offshore? The answer according to an increasingly vocal chorus on all sides of the political divide is to impose a carbon border adjustment tax, designed to ensure that imports face the same price of carbon emissions as domestic producers. This way, it is claimed, the government can level the playing field for domestic companies and prevent so-called carbon leakage, which would undermine efforts to save the planet by simply shifting emissions elsewhere. This may smack of protectionism but it has attracted high-profile adherents. Liam Fox, the former trade secretary, has called for Boris Johnson to introduce such a tax, as have former energy secretaries Amber Rudd and Andrea Leadsom. The European Union has promised to come up with proposals in July and President Biden is examining the idea. Yet one does not have to dig very deep to discover that while attractive in theory, a carbon border adjustment tax will be fiendishly complex to implement, possibly futile and even counterproductive. The problem arises from what Emily Lydgate of the Trade Policy Observatory has dubbed the CBA trilemma: the need to reconcile the competing demands of the environment, technical feasibility and fairness.
Times 10th June 2021 read more »