The Great British energy transition?

Authored by: Caroline Kuzemko

Handbook of Transitions to Energy and Climate Security

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781857437454
eBook ISBN: 9781315723617
Adobe ISBN:


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The UK is often held up as an example of ‘best practice’ in terms of its transition towards a low carbon and secure energy system. This is not least because of the, at the time groundbreaking, Climate Change Act of 2008 which committed the UK to legally binding, long-term carbon emissions reduction targets and a series of carbon budgets. This chapter will argue, however, that beneath these ambitious government targets there has been insufficient progress in policy-making to effect profound system change. The UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recently announced that if the UK is to meet its fourth and fifth carbon budgets it urgently needs to implement new policies and send clear long-term signals to investors. 1 Indeed climate targets are only really helpful in practice if they provide enough impetus and direction for political and market actors to respond with sustainable innovations that can facilitate profound system change.

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