Net zero: The global energy sector

In May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its energy roadmap which examined how the world can transition to a net zero energy system by 2050. It argued that although current climate pledges fall short of what is needed to meet this target, a viable pathway is still available. This article provides a summary of the IEA’s report and the UK government’s policy on net zero. It also considers the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global energy sector.

Net zero: The global energy sector

Queen’s Speech 2022: Energy and climate change

The Government has committed to reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and improve the security of the UK’s energy supply. It has said it intends to improve strategic planning in the UK’s electricity and gas infrastructure through the establishment of an independent future system operator. It has also said it will introduce measures intended to increase the use of hydrogen gas and carbon capture technology in the UK energy sector.

Queen’s Speech 2022: Energy and climate change
  • In Focus

    Ukraine sanctions and the Swift system

    There has been extended debate on whether Russia should be banned from the international Swift system as part of the package of economic sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine. On 26 February 2022, the international community announced that selected Russian banks would be barred. This article looks at what Swift is, why it is significant and whether a ban would be likely to achieve its intended effect of restricting the Russian economy.

  • In Focus

    Draft Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy

    The Government has published draft updates for a range of energy-related national policy statements first introduced in 2011. The statements provide guidance for those involved in determining development applications for major infrastructure projects. The Government has said the updates focus on regulatory, policy and technology changes.

  • Research Briefing

    Rising Household Energy Costs and Consumer Protection

    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 briefing outlines these issues and considers the potential impact of increasing energy bills on UK households and how the consumer protection regulatory regime has responded.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • In Focus

    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.

  • 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.

Total results (page 1 of 4)