Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill

The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill is a government bill which completed all its stages in the House of Commons on 10 January 2022. It would introduce the regulated asset base (RAB) as a way of financing new nuclear power stations. Under a RAB, an economic regulator is given the power to levy a charge on consumers, the proceeds of which go towards financing the new infrastructure. At the time of writing, a date for second reading in the House of Lords has not been set.

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill

Oil and gas industry: outside interests

The Government has committed to phasing out global fossil fuel subsidies and to changing the way that oil and gas is licensed in the UK. However, environmental organisations have argued that outside interests, such as oil companies and climate sceptics, have too much influence on the oil and gas industry in the UK. This includes at board level of the industry’s regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, and through political donations.

Oil and gas industry: outside interests
  • In Focus

    Electric scooter regulation: should the law be changed?

    According to UK law, electric scooters can only be used on private land. However, the Government is considering whether the law should be changed. As part of this consideration, the Department for Transport introduced legislation in July 2020 to enable rental e-scooter trials to take place on public roads and cycle lanes across the UK. The Government awaits the outcome of these trials before making a decision on whether to change the law.

  • In Focus

    Rising energy costs: the impact on households, pensioners and those on low incomes

    Energy bills in the UK are predicted to rise considerably over the next year. This is due to issues that have increased wholesale energy costs and have subsequently put a number of energy suppliers out of business. This article outlines these issues and considers the potential impact of increasing energy bills on UK households, particularly on pensioners and those on lower incomes.

  • In Focus

    Jet Zero and sustainable aviation

    In July 2021, the Government launched a consultation on ‘Jet Zero’: its plans for decarbonising the UK aviation sector. Noting that while aviation currently contributes 2–3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the consultation observed that it is forecast to become the second highest residual emitter in 2050 as other sectors reduce their emissions. The consultation has now closed. The Government is currently analysing the responses and intends to launch its Jet Zero strategy in 2022, revealing how aviation will contribute towards ensuring the UK reaches net zero. This article looks at recent developments.

  • In Focus

    Nuclear power in the UK

    The House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Lord Howell of Guildford (Conservative) that “this House takes note of the role of civil nuclear power in meeting the United Kingdom’s (1) electricity needs, and (2) energy security”. This article gives an overview of nuclear power in the UK. It looks at issues such as its role in meeting carbon reduction targets, safety and the disposal of radioactive waste.

  • In Focus

    Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report

    In November 2021, the National Infrastructure Commission published the baseline report from its forthcoming second National Infrastructure Assessment. The baseline report evaluates the current state of the UK’s economic infrastructure and identifies key challenges for the coming decades, informing recommendations in the full assessment in 2023. The baseline report found that there has been significant progress in some areas such as gigabit broadband since the last Assessment in 2018. However, it added much more was required, particularly in areas such as electricity emissions and water pollution.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: World Affairs (November 2021)

    Catch up on events from around the world this month. We take a closer look at the 26th Conference of Parties, which is the international summit on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and examine an article published in The Conversation discussing whether the summit could be considered a success.

  • In Focus

    European Union Committee report—Beyond Brexit: Food, Environment, Energy and Health

    What impact will the UK’s new relationship with the EU have on food, the environment, energy and health? This article examines key findings of a House of Lords committee that looked at this topic earlier this year, as well as the Government’s response, ahead of a debate on 15 November 2021.

  • In Focus

    Onshore Wind Bill [HL]

    The Onshore Wind Bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Baroness Hayman. It would require the Government to amend planning guidance to enable local planning authorities to grant more onshore wind applications for the purpose of meeting the UK’s carbon targets.

  • In Focus

    Leaseholders: fire and building safety

    Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, survey work has revealed that dangerous cladding was also present on other residential tower blocks. The Government has announced funding to help pay for remedial work. However, politicians and campaigners have expressed concern that the funding does not cover all fire safety defects and that leaseholders are being sent bills by building owners to cover costs of fire safety work, potentially leading to financial hardship and significant stress.

  • In Focus

    Behaviour change and reaching net zero

    The net zero target requires the UK to achieve a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (from 1990 levels). The Climate Change Committee’s 2021 progress report to Parliament highlighted the impact of behaviour change on reaching this target. It called upon the Government to produce a public engagement strategy for delivering net zero. The Government said its approach to public engagement will be included in a comprehensive net zero strategy scheduled to be published before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021.

  • In Focus

    Public engagement with the Government’s net zero target

    The Government passed legislation in 2019 legislating for the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Commentators and the Government have highlighted the need for public engagement to help achieve the target. This article looks at what has been said about the issue and what the public’s attitude and awareness is.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2021: environment, climate change and energy

    The Government has confirmed the Environment Bill will be included in the 2021 Queen’s Speech, a bill carried over from the 2019–21 session. The Queen’s Speech is also likely to refer to the Government’s commitment to reduce UK carbon emissions and the 2021 UN COP26 conference hosted in Glasgow. The Government has said that it will publish in 2021 further details of strategies to improve UK biodiversity, including the England tree strategy.

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