Energy & Environment

Getting energy and environment policy right is crucial to securing a safer, cheaper and healthier future. These policies affect us at an immediate local level – air pollution killing up to 9,000 Londoners each year – and threaten our long-term security – climate change threatening to destroy the planet we inhabit. Moving towards low-carbon sources of energy and making sure we have adequate environmental protections are vital if we are to safeguard our planet and way of life.

Working in partnership with King’s Sustainability, the Energy and Environment Policy Centre will host a panel debate on air pollution in November, looking at the extent and effects of pollution in London and what can be done to reduce it. With an expert panel of speakers from industry, academia, politics and the third sector, we will discuss how polluted our city really is, the impact of dirty air on our health and potential solutions to the problems it causes. Following the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s consultation on air pollution and proposals to tackle it, we will ask whether his plans go far enough given the scale of the problem.

King’s College London is at the forefront of research into the health impact of air pollution. Our Environmental Research Group is at the heart of the discussion about how to clean up our air, working to promote understanding of the issues in regional and national government and amongst the public. Their innovative London Air website and mobile app are empowering citizens to learn more about this problem and helping to bring it to the top of the political agenda. Working with researchers from King’s College London, our policy centre will develop and lobby policy that aims to tackle some of the root causes and side-effects of air pollution in London.

In the second part of the academic year, the energy and environment team at King’s Think Tank will set its sights on national energy and industrial policy, looking how the UK can transition to a low-carbon economy. The new government, led by Theresa May and Greg Clark in the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department, is due to publish a carbon plan and industrial strategy next year. This is an opportunity to ensure we promote low-carbon technologies in industry and the energy sector in order to meet our legally binding emissions targets and protect our planet.

At an event targeted at leading figures in government, industry, energy and the green sector, we will demonstrate how the Energy Transition Model can be used to map out a path to the low-carbon future we have committed to in passing the Climate Change Act in 2008 and signing up to the Paris Agreement last year. We will use this modelling to show how through targeted investment in the right industries and regional projects we can not only protect our planet, but regenerate communities across the UK and create the economy and jobs of the future.

We look forward to seeing many of you at our events this year; please contact me at pcpresidents@kingsthinktank.org to get involved or find out more about the work we do.

Liam Taggart
Energy & Environment Policy Centre President