United Kingdom

Providing a test bed for the low-carbon transition

Opportunity

The United Kingdom (UK) is a global media hub, a major financial centre, and home to many institutions offering thought leadership on climate change. The ground-breaking Climate Change Act sets out a legally binding framework to guide the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The UK has made strong progress in reducing carbon emissions in recent years. It also has excellent renewable energy resources, notably on- and off-shore wind, and in 2015 became the world’s first major economy to commit to a phase-out of unabated coal for power generation.

Challenge

Although the UK has a strong overarching climate framework, there are gaps in the policies needed to achieve the deeper levels of decarbonisation that will be required in the 2020s and beyond. The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is working to support the effective design and implementation of policies to meet the Climate Change Act obligations, and to address emerging challenges such as the need to decarbonise heat supply or to integrate high levels of variable renewables. Our aim is to support the UK to continue to be a champion on climate change, through strong domestic action, and through its role in the European Union and internationally.

Approach

The ECF works with NGOs, think tanks, industry and academia to develop and promote cost-effective solutions to some of the challenges now facing the UK as it moves towards deep decarbonisation of its energy system.

The ECF aims to unlock progress in energy efficiency, particularly in the built environment; to support moves towards an efficient, renewables-led power sector; to ensure that benefits from integration with European energy markets are realised; and to develop thought leadership on future challenges such as decarbonising heating and encouraging efficient, low-carbon infrastructure solutions.

The ECF also partners with several organisations, which seek to promote accurate and informed reporting on climate change and energy issues in the UK media, such as Carbon Brief and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

For more information, please contact unitedkingdom@europeanclimate.org.