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Carbon taxes are a much discussed mechanism for using market mechanisms to incentivise a transition to a zero-carbon energy from fossil fuels, exploiting the innovation and flexibility that markets can provide. However, detractors cite potential economic harm to those on low and middle incomes as a reason to avoid such action. Many such detractors turn…

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This week’s title is not a description of my dream-job.  It’s actually a way forward for all of us.  Too good to be true?   Stick with me and I’ll try to persuade you that I haven’t lost my marbles. I’ll start where I left-off in my previous column–carbon-taxes are an effective way to encourage millions…

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It’s been a dramatic few weeks.  Climate Emergencies were declared by the Scottish, Welsh and UK parliaments last week (and the Irish Parliament this week) whilst, last Thursday, the government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published a report recommending the UK have a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The last few…

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In a new paper the IMF estimates global subsidies for fossil fuel energy implied by the underpricing of supply and environmental costs at a staggering $5.2 trillion in 2017, or 6.5 percent of world GDP

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Last Sunday I stood beneath an 80m tall wind turbine—its blade tips rushing past at 100 mph. It was a dramatic sight but the loudest sound I could hear was the singing of skylarks. This was quite striking as, a few days before, I’d been reading objections placed in 2015 against placing of a wind…

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A common refrain among those who oppose action on climate change is something along the lines of “Why should we take action? It won’t matter what we do, if China doesn’t do anything.” There is a superficial logic to this statement, but it lacks a proper understanding of the root causes of many global emissions…

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28th April 2019

Why price carbon?

That may sound like a stupid question, but when governments are failing to price carbon pollution at anywhere near the cost of the damage caused to society, it’s a question worth asking, though maybe it would be better to ask the reverse question: why aren’t we are pricing carbon? Why are we effectively subsidising fossil…

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Over the past two centuries we’ve added as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as it already contained, and the amount should have doubled. However, the concentration has gone from just below 0.03% to just over 0.04%—about half the increase expected!

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It’s all very well demanding that Wiltshire Council declares a Climate Emergency but what can it actually do? The reaction of several councillors was a request that we set out concrete, practical steps. That seems reasonable to me and here are some ideas. To start with, we need a target. How many tonnes of carbon…

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Wiltshire produces more solar-electricity than any other county in the UK but we’re joint 190th for wind energy. In fact, we produce about 6000 times more energy from the Sun than we do from the wind. That’s quite a contrast and we could do better. Of course, many people find wind farms ugly and don’t…