Tag: climate change

EU leaders at a Brussels summit have agreed a plan to cut emissions. This will involve the 27 EU countries cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. The aim is also to try to raise renewable energy sources to 20% of total energy use. The package has become known as the 20/20/20 package, but scientists have already argued that these measures may not be sufficient to prevent serious climate change.

Fiddling with words as the world melts The Economist (18/12/08)
Climate deal is far too little too late Guardian (15/12/08)
EU leaders claim historic agreement on cutting pollution Guardian (13/12/08)
Climate change: EU leaders reach compromise deal on emissions Guardian (12/12/08)
World needs ‘climate revolution’ BBC News Online (11/12/08)
EU climate package explained BBC News Online (5/12/08)
EU leaders reach new climate deal BBC News Online (12/12/08)

Questions

  1. Identify two external costs that result from climate change.
  2. Using diagrams as appropriate, illustrate the impact of the EU climate change deal on the market for electricity.
  3. Discuss the extent to which the EU climate change deal will lead to an increase in the supply of renewable energy sources. How quickly are these changes in supply likely to take effect?
  4. Examine two other policies that national governments could implement to reduce carbon emissions.

The widening of the M6 will cost £3bn or £1000 an inch. What does this fact tell us about the government’s green priorities? Are we really leading the world on climate change as the government likes to claim? In the article below Ashley Seager (Economics Correspondent for the Guardian) looks at these issues and argues that we may be the poor man of Europe when it comes to ‘green’ policies.

Green means slow to this government Guardian (6/8/07)

Questions

1. Explain what Ashley Seager means by the sentence “What the government has also not done is send out new “price signals”, as economists call them” (paragraph 7).
2. Explain what is meant by a feed-in tariff (FIT). Why does Ashley Seager argue that this is a vital policy tool in the fight against climate change?
3. Discuss two policies that the government could adopt to help raise the proportion of renewable energy generated in the UK.

March 2007 has seen a lot of activity in government circles relating to the environment and environmental legislation. The EU has agreed a renewable energy target for all members while the UK government has released its own climate change bill. The Carbon Trust has then released a one-year pilot of a carbon labelling scheme, with Walkers Crisps being the first brand to bear the carbon labels. The aim is to increase consumers’ awareness of the carbon footprint of the goods they are buying. The articles linked below look at all these issues.

EU agrees renewable energy target BBC News Online (9/3/07)
EU seeks converts to eco-stoicism BBC News Online (9/3/07)
Navarra embraces green energy BBC News Online (9/3/07)
How Europe can save the world Guardian (11/3/07)
Carbon labelling scheme launched BBC News Online (15/3/07)
Labels reveal goods’ carbon cost BBC News Online (16/3/07)
New law in the climate jungle BBC News Online (13/3/07)

Questions

1. Explain the difference between private costs and external costs. Identify five external costs that arise from the generation of electricity by conventional means.
2. Using diagrams as appropriate, show the impact on the market for energy of increased use of energy generated from renewable sources.
3. Evaluate the likely effectiveness of the carbon labelling scheme introduced by the Carbon Trust.