Energy & Environment

Adapting to global warming is not only a challenge of the future. Younger generations are becoming increasingly aware of the urgency of the situation and the need to act today. Yet, as the urgency of the situation becomes clear, environmental policy is put at risk by broader political instability which could lead to the weakening of environmental regulations. The Energy and Environment Policy Centre will spend the academic year exploring the following two topics: adaptation to climate change and post-Brexit environmental policy.

In addition to necessary measures to limit or reverse climate change and its effects, it is vital to adapt to the already observable changes resulting from this phenomenon. Global heating is affecting weather and triggering more frequent and violent natural disasters. Climate change is driving mass migration around the globe and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that there will be 200 million climate migrants by 2050. Migration, as well as the exhaustion of resources, will result in further conflicts, as these developments can lead to geopolitical changes destabilizing already vulnerable regions. All these existing challenges necessitate innovation and new technologies to protect not only humanity, but also wildlife and the Earth we all live on. Policy-making is essential to make the UK and the world more resilient to climate change. The UK’s legally binding 2008 Climate Change Act (CCA) obliges the government to create policies to increase resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; however, many urgent risks are not addressed. The Energy and Environment Policy Centre will address some of these issues and study how we humans can achieve greater resilience against climate change while reducing our impact on the planet.

The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019, raising questions about the future of UK environmental regulations. For this reason, the Energy and Environment Policy Centre will focus on post-Brexit environmental policy for the second semester. Since the UK joined the EU in 1973, its environmental regulations and its approach to environmental policy has been shaped by discussions with the European Union. Disentangling UK regulations from EU regulations will be one more challenge to face and will certainly leave important gaps in the UK’s environmental regulation system. The government announced a “Green Brexit” and promised not to weaken the existing environmental protections, but this vision requires a significant improvement of the domestic environmental policy framework. The Energy and Environment Policy Centre will seek to propose solutions to improve the UK environmental regulation system, and if possible, to go beyond the former EU requirements. Rebuilding the environmental regulation system presents many challenges and the policy centre will thus address very diverse topics.

We invite you to come and join the debate. Everyone has a role to play in environmental and conservation efforts and we would be very happy to hear your ideas. You are welcome to write for us on the topics of your choice within the scope of energy and environment. Do not hesitate to contact us at policycentre@kingsthinktank.org.

Mathilde Funck Brentano
Director, Energy and Environment Policy Centre

Our Policy Centre:

Irina Tabacaru

Director

I am a third year BSc Political Economy student and am Romanian from France. I am very motivated and thrilled to have joined the team, specifically to research the fields of climate change policy and environmental economics.

Email: policycentre@kingsthinktank.org

Ambre Barria

Editor

I am a third year International Development BA French student, passionate about the economics and geopolitics of the energy transition. I strive to promote awareness of current and future issues our generation will face

 Rebecca Flowers

Researcher

I am a half Danish half British fourth year Business Management and Spanish student at KCL. I am very interested in the interplay between environmental policy and the private sector and how to mitigate climate change while acknowledging the completive nature of business.

Ximena Bénard-Tertrais

Liaison

I am a French and Colombian third-year student pursuing a BSc of Political Economy. My main area of interest is environmental governance, in particular how we can use policymaking to put models of sustainable development at the center of international cooperation.

Our Working Group:

Patrick Geddis

I am a MA student from Northern Ireland studying International Political Economy. My main areas of interest are decarbonisation, the effects of climate breakdown on the Global South and the development of green technologies and systems.

Andrew King

I am a third year BSc Physics with Theoretical Physics student from the UK. I am greatly interested in the global transition to renewable energy, the impacts of the climate crisis on the Global South, and international policy and green deals.

Nina Hanna

I’m a final year Comparative Literature student who was born and raised in London! I’m excited to join the team and motivated to start research on the wide variety of issues that relate to energy and environment, and hope to contribute to the wider campaign for climate justice.

Irene Perez Beltran

I am a 2nd year International Relations student from Spain. My main interests are the transition to renewable energy and the development of sustainable cities, and how can both be achieved in an economically viable manner.