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Life Cycle Assessment – Toilet seats and business sustainability

The hinges on a toilet seat broke and so I thought I would buy the hinges and replace them. Well the manufacturer’s website didn’t have the information and an email to them didn’t elict a response, so what I found myself doing was buying a new plastic toilet seat I didn’t need to acquire the […]

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Do people love the Common Agricultural Policy? Opportunities for UK policy.

After the referendum result a number of banners appeared at demonstrations stating “I love the EU”. The question I want to pose is if one loves the EU, does one love the Common Agricultural Policy or CAP? Because you can’t have one without the other. The CAP has been around for a long time, since […]

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Opportunities for UK fiscal policy outside the EU

  One of the issues to deal with after the UK referendum vote is that many people went very long in doom and gloom and are now having to short their positions considerably. There will be volatility going forward but we need a sober analysis of both the risks (and we’ve had plenty of that) […]

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Why Larry Sumners is right and wrong about a Carbon Tax

Larry Sumners has joined those calling for the fall in energy prices to be seized as an opportunity to introduce a carbon tax. “The case for carbon taxes has long been compelling. With the recent steep fall in oil prices and associated declines in other energy prices it is overwhelming. There is room for debate […]

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The end of the Energy Tax Directive and Cheap Oil

I was struck by the contrast between Lord Stern’s comments on the impact of cheap oil and the fate of the Energy Tax Directive. Lord Stern is quoted as saying “this is exactly the right moment to remove fossil fuel subsidies and intensify carbon pricing” and I completely understand why he says this. Consumers and […]

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“German energy policy” What the FT should have said today

The editorial in today’s Financial Times on German energy policy made depressing reading, primarily because so much of it was wrong! It seems to me that it sums up that a lack of understanding of the challenges we face in Europe and globally on climate change and energy. So what was wrong? Well the primary […]

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Does switching from Coal to Gas solves climate change?

Following on from my post about Coal, I thought I should comment on the spin from the Oil Industry from the UN meeting on climate change. Not surprisingly the line was that Coal should be the target and that a switch from Coal to Gas would reduce emissions. As reported in the Financial Times: Top […]

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Coal and Greening taxes while preserving social protection mechanisms

I wrote a post about green taxation and social protection and was fascinated to see reports that the Coal industry was claiming that campaigns waged against coal were “anti-poor” (see FT 26 September 2014). It is worth quoting in full : “If we are really serious about helping the impoverished, then we should be supporting […]

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Hedges and climate weirdness

I was  on the way to Paris on Eurostar recently, travelling across Northern France. In contrast to England, Northern France is a prairie of huge fields – where are the hedges? This may seem a strange question to pose, but the ecology of Northern French agriculture is a bleak mono culture of large fields with […]

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Coal and carbon – a lesson about volatility and change

I watched the US policy decision on restrictions on coal powered generation in the USA with some interest given my previous experience at Rio Tinto. If these decisions do reduce the role of coal in power generation, they will have some interesting implications around the world. For most of the time I worked at Rio, […]

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