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DTI: Review of UK Energy Policy

11 July 2006

The Royal Society's response to the Department of Trade and Industry's UK Energy Review has been informed by our Energy Policy Advisory Group and other experts.

In our submission we emphasise that reducing the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, in order to mitigate the impacts on climate change and ocean acidification, must be a primary driver for energy policy and requires urgent action. This must be achieved whilst providing a secure supply of energy. UK energy policy must be part of a wider international effort to reduce emissions, as collective international action is needed to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Our response also highlights that huge investment will be required in clean technologies, but first and foremost effort to reduce the demand for energy and increase end use efficiency must be increased substantially. We emphasise that a cost, such as a carbon tax or tradeable permits, should be associated with the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Finally we stress that there is a major lack of investment in energy research, both by private and public sectors, and that current market conditions are not delivering the necessary rate of private investment in research and development in technologies that are far from market.