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Going Green? What Should UK Policy Be?

Publication date: Thursday, 10th June 2021
PDF: Going Green? What Should UK Policy Be?

In Going Green? What Should UK Policy Be?, the author, The Rt. Hon. Sir John Redwood, MP for Wokingham and former Secretary of State for Wales (1993-95), highlights the rapid change prompted by the digital and green revolutions.

Redwood considers the structural changes and the socioeconomic measures involved in the green revolution. He emphasises the cost of “going green”, noting the significant job loss in ‘oil, gas and coal, in traditional heating systems engineering, in diesel and petrol, vehicle manufacture, and in capital goods business serving the fossil fuel markets’ that will result from the green revolution.

He argues that much of the policy debate is currently fixed on reducing the existing power production system to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Transforming the current electricity supply to renewable and green sources is a significant commitment. At present, there is no concrete plan to manage the predicted considerable increase in electricity capacity which will be necessary to support a green society.

He proposes that the UK government must ensure that the green revolution is economically and socially viable and sustainable. In particular, Redwood proposes that the government:

  • Orders an overhaul of electricity regulation and pricing to ensure faster growth in total capacity.
  • Adds pump storage and more hydro to the mix to have more reliable renewable power. Solving the problem of nuclear replacement with firm contracts or alternatives;
  • Offers more biomass UK power stations as baseload, using wood from sustainable timber grown in the UK;
  • Offers to launch funding for a new generation of heating systems and vehicles that could capture the public imagination and offering improvements on current products to foster acquisition and use;
  • Pilots projects on “greening” buildings and services in the public sector, creating demand for suitable products to convert existing facilities;
  • Sets out proposals for taxing vehicles across the transition to more electric ones;
  • Converts public housing stock to higher green standards; and
  • Accounts for the carbon content of imports to avoid penalising UK based industry needing to continue with fossil fuels pending a full transition when overseas producers are using more fossil fuel.

For the private sector, Redwood recommends business:

  • Listens to what customers want as well as studying government requirements;
  • Designs and launching products that people say they want to buy; and
  • Lobbies government over feasible targets and timetables for the green transition to limit the damage to existing jobs and factories.

Notes to Editors:
Going Green? What Should UK Policy Be? By The Rt. Hon. Sir John Redwood MP will be published by Politeia on Thursday, 10th June 2021.

1. Established in 1995, Politeia is an independent, non-party think-tank providing a forum to discuss economic, constitutional and social policy with a particular focus on the role of the state in people’s lives.

2. Going Green? What Should UK Policy Be? By The Rt. Hon. Sir John Redwood MP will be published by Politeia on Thursday, 10th June 2021.

3. The Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP has been Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987 and is a former Secretary of State for Wales, having held a variety of ministerial roles in the 1980s and 1990s. A former Head of Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit, he is Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee and wrote We Don’t Believe You: Why Populists and the Establishment See the World Differently (Bite-Sized Books, 2019). His Politeia publications include How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO (2018) and Trading Truths: The Treasury, Trade and the City (2016).

4. An online event will be held on Thursday, 10th June 2021 at 1-2 .p.m. Speaking will be:

The Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP, Author, Going green? What Should UK Policy Be? (forthcoming, Politeia), We Don’t Believe You: Why Populists and the Establishment See the World Differently (Bite-Sized Books, 2019);
 
Barry Gardiner MP, Member, House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee; former Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade (2016-20) and for Energy and Climate Change (2016);

Danae Kyriakopoulou, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, (“OMFIF”); and

Dr Ludger Schuknecht – Author, Public Spending and the Role of the State: History, Performance, Risk and Remedies (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; former Deputy Secretary General, OECD (2018-20); Chief Economist, the Directorate General Fiscal Policy and International Financial and Monetary Policy, German Ministry of Finance (2011-18).

The event will be chaired by Edite Ligere, Director of Politeia.

Sir John Redwood MP

Sir John Redwood has been Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987 and is a former Secretary of State for Wales, having held a variety of ministerial roles in the 1980s and 1990s. A former Head of Margaret Thatcher's Policy Unit, he is Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee and wrote We Don’t Believe You: Why Populists and the Establishment See the World Differently (Bite-Sized Books, 2019). His Politeia publications include How to Take Back Control: Trading Globally Through the WTO (2018) and Trading Truths: The Treasury, Trade and the City (2016).

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