Governments are setting increasingly demanding targets for reducing the impact of economic activity on the environment. Much of this is directed at reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (particularly CO2) from energy use, but there are also policies supporting adaptation to climate change where this has already occurred. Analysing the impact of these measures brings new challenges for all those affected
Economics provide well-tried tools for assessing the impact of new policies at national or sectoral level - on individual firms and on consumers. Techniques have been developed for putting values on the costs imposed on society from climate change, and on the benefits to be expected from policies aiming to reduce harmful emissions.
We have worked closely with UK government departments on a number of impact assessments of policies which set emissions limits using carbon-valuation techniques. We have also reviewed the use of taxation as a means of incentivising reductions in emissions.
Economic modelling can provide valuable insight into alternative methods of achieving a defined environmental objective, and can be used to identify least-cost options. We have developed a number of models of policy options for low- or zero-carbon new buildings.
Environmental targets are likely to be increasingly important in utility regulation and we can advise on appropriate incentive mechanisms.
Recent clients include the European Commission; The Department for Communities and Local Government; The Department for Business, Innovation and skills (formerly BERR); and Ofwat .
Our in-house team in this field includes: Stephen Topping and Jonathan Green.
Primary contact: Stephen Topping.