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Waving flags
Abdullah Bin Sahl/Flickr
UK POLICY
29 June 2016 14:26

Brexit: 94 unanswered questions for climate and energy policy

Simon Evans

Simon Evans

06.29.16
Simon Evans

Simon Evans

29.06.2016 | 2:26pm
UK policyBrexit: 94 unanswered questions for climate and energy policy

Update 30/6/16 – The government has answered one of our 94 questions by proposing a fifth carbon budget in line with advice from the Committee on Climate Change. Carbon Brief has all the details.

What does the UK’s shock vote to leave the European Union mean for energy and climate change?

Speaking simultaneously on Wednesday morning at separate events in London, Amber Rudd, secretary of state for energy and climate change, and Andrea Leadsom, energy minister, both sought to offer reassurances that UK energy and climate commitments would continue.

Rudd said, in comments not included in the published version of her speech:

“We made a clear commitment to acting on climate change in our manifesto last year. That will continue.”

She confirmed commitments to the UK Climate Change Act, a phaseout of unabated coal, the capacity market to secure electricity supplies and support for offshore wind and new nuclear. Leadsom also said the referendum would not affect climate and energy policy.

However, Rudd conceded that the referendum result had made the path to climate action harder, raising a host of questions. Adding to the air of uncertainty, there is now the prospect of a new Conservative prime minister being in place by September, as well as the possibility of a snap general election.

Carbon Brief has assembled a lengthy, and probably incomplete, list of post-referendum questions for climate and energy policy.

Questions remain

In the days following the referendum, a range of questions, and possible answers have already been offered on the climate and energy implications of the vote.

Policy Exchange looks at impacts across environment policy. Business Green has twelve unanswered questions for the green economy, Climate Home has six questions for UK and EU climate ambition and another three questions on whether Brexit means a climate policy “bonfire”. Meanwhile, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has five energy and climate predictions.

Elsewhere, consultancy Aurora Energy Research, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Nick Butler for the Financial Times look at what it means for energy and climate, with a focus on markets.

The expected approval this week of the UK’s fifth carbon budget for 2028-2032 would provide a key reference point for future policy. Still, uncertainty is sure to continue for months, if not years.

Here are some of the many unanswered questions.

The Paris Agreement on climate change:

UK policy:

UK Climate Change Act:

Energy bills:

UK energy markets:

Low-carbon energy:

EU policy:

Scotland and Northern Ireland:

Other issues:

Update 29/6/16 – The question on the fifth carbon budget was amended. It previously said, in line with earlier press reports, that the fifth carbon budget would pass in to law on 30 June, meeting the legal deadline. However, Carbon Brief now understands that the parliamentary process will not be completed on 30 June.

Main image: Waving flags. Credit: Abdullah Bin Sahl/Flickr.
Sharelines from this story
  • Brexit: 94 unanswered questions for climate and energy policy
  • Roger

    I’d suggest that if the legislation deadline isn’t met, it tells us all we need to know to answer many of these questions.


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