Recent SGR commentary on climate and energy issues

With details of the new UK Energy Bill starting to be released, and the latest round of UN climate change negotiations underway in Doha, Qatar, here is a summary of recent relevant analysis from SGR commentators.

27 November 2012

  • SGR's criticisms of the draft Energy Bill were summarised in an open letter to Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, in July. These criticisms included weak policies on energy saving measures, hidden subsidies for nuclear power and inconsistent support for renewables. Although some more recent efforts have been made by the government to address these problems, they do not go far enough.
  • Further analysis on the inadequacies of UK efforts on energy saving are given in an article by SGR Chair, Dr Phil Webber: Local sustainable energy projects: learning the practical lessons.
  • In contrast, the recent major steps forward taken by the offshore renewables industry in the UK are outlined in an article for the latest issue of the SGR Newsletter by Prof AbuBakr Bahaj.
  • The choices faced in the UK (and across the world) over whether to try to follow a high-technology industry-driven path to a low carbon society, or whether to embrace one led more by communities and appropriate technologies, are discussed in a presentation by SGR Director, Dr Stuart Parkinson and in an article by SGR Committee member, Dr Tim Foxon.
  • In an article on The Guardian website, SGR sponsor, Prof Keith Barnham argues that we should be more radical and the UK should impose a strict carbon emissions limit on new energy technologies now.
  • Keith Barnham also looks at the role that renewables could potentially play in helping to defuse tensions over Iran's nuclear programme - in a separate article for the SGR Newsletter.
  • Stuart Parkinson assesses the influence of climate change sceptics over the last 20 years and argues that international public sympathy for such views are very limited, despite some significant political influence in countries like the USA and UK.
  • Finally, Ian Fairlie and Stuart Parkinson give an update on the Fukushima nuclear disaster in a further article from the latest issue of the SGR Newsletter.