This post is by Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips professor in the economics of innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex, author of The entrepreneurial state: debunking public vs private sector myths and Green Alliance trustee.
Speaking at the start of the COP21 meeting in Paris, President Obama told delegates:
“We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another; they can work in concert with one another.”
He’s right that a green economy need not come at the expense of growth. Policy makers must also now recognise that we cannot rely on the private sector to bring about the kind of radical reshaping of the economy that is required. As Bill Gates recently acknowledged, only the state can provide the kind of patient finance and direction required to make a decisive shift.
This is a guest post by Jim Watson, director of Sussex Energy Group.
The role of natural gas is at the heart of the increasingly fractious debates about UK energy policy – whether it is the pros and cons of shale gas, the heated arguments over renewables policy, or the allegations of price manipulation in wholesale energy markets.
Gas supplies 30 per cent of the energy we use in the UK: to heat our homes, to power industry and to generate electricity. Within the low carbon transition that the UK needs to make, gas will continue to be important. It will be some time before the millions of households that rely on gas will be able to switch to electric or renewable heating. Gas also accounts for 40 per cent of UK electricity generation, and the shift to gas in this sector has delivered a large share of our emissions reductions to date.