Author Archives: Chaitanya Kumar

What will it really take to get to net zero before 2050?

intext-blog-strikeThe BBC ran a story this week with the headline ‘The UK can’t go climate neutral before 2050’, citing an important report from the independent research body, the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC). That report details a set of pathways to getting the UK to net zero by 2050 and is careful to highlight that it is not prescriptive. While we cannot expect nuance in a news headline, suggesting that it is impossible to hit net zero carbon before 2050 belies the very nature of innovation. Read more

UK energy transition in 2020 – what to expect?

intext-energy-transition-windThis will be a big year for climate change in the UK and around the world. The UK is set to host the all-important UN conference on climate change, COP26 in Glasgow, where countries are expected to put forward enhanced ambition on mitigation and financing to deal with the crisis. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our domestic and international leadership on the issue. Read more

Electric mobility should benefit the poorest in our society

intext-Chatty-EVreport-blogI have been working in Victoria, London, for the past three years. The buildings, the corner shops and the pubs have roughly stayed the same in this period but I’ve noticed a marked change in something else. Electric vehicles and chargers have started to appear on the streets, pavements and lampposts. Teslas, Leafs and Zoes are now gliding around quietly, with no tailpipe emissions. The direction of travel for Britain’s cars is clear, it is clean and electric. Read more

Why community renewables still have no government support

solar house smallThe closing of the feed-in tariff scheme (FiT) in March this year caused dismay, inviting accusations that it was a retrogressive step for an aspiring low carbon economy and unfair to community energy groups. FiTs had underpinned the growth of this sector over the past decade. It was the means by which small scale renewable energy generators, including households, were paid for surplus energy they fed in to the grid. Read more

Why we need an environment and climate watchdog

drought.pngThis blog was first published by Business Green.

The unprecedented, prolonged heatwave that Britain and much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing seems to have brought climate change, albeit temporarily, to the forefront of our public and political discourse. A timely report from the Environmental Audit Committee has warned there will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050, triple today’s rate, if we do not take further action. Former energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd penned a Times op-ed stating climate change is here and rising global temperatures are already baked in. But the thrust of her argument was that a madcap approach to Brexit could unravel Britain’s ambitious climate goals. Addressing climate change, she said, requires “co-operation, shared sovereignty and internationalism.”

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What would a climate compatible Heathrow look like?

Heathrow plane_Charlie_FlickrWe have always known that aviation will be a hard nut to crack in tackling climate change. Digital technology was expected to bring people closer virtually but has had no impact on mitigating air travel which has continued to grow over the past decade. Meanwhile, the aviation industry has felt itself exempt from climate policy, a feeling which must have been emphasised by the limited role that climate considerations played in this week’s decision to expand Heathrow. Read more

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