The right wing think tank, well known to be a favourite of prime minister David Cameron, has called for a rethink of how Europe tackles climate change.

In the report Climate Change Policy: Time for Plan B the think tank strongly argues the European Union (EU) should retain its existing 2020 emissions reduction plans.

But, it calls for totally abandoning the EU’s 2020 renewable energy target, calling it an ‘unnecessarily expensive’ route to meeting carbon reduction goals, which ‘distorts spending’ in favour of rapid deployment of ‘immature’ technologies.

Policy Exchange calls on the EU to treat all low carbon sources on an equal footing, demanding it and the UK in particular puts a greater emphasis on low carbon research to promote innovation rather than the deployment of chosen low carbon technologies to meet short-term targets.

Backing this up the report points to the International Energy Agency which has already claimed there will be a global shortfall of research investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) alone of up to $17 billion a year.

Author of the report and former Ofgem managing director, Boaz Moselle, said: “Choosing expensive decarbonisation options tells other countries decarbonisation will hurt their economy and drive business overseas.

“Plan B climate policy emphasises the importance of fostering innovation and reducing costs through research and development across the whole range of low carbon technologies in reducing their costs.

“The report also assesses the evidence and finds a glaring shortfall in understanding of the costs of adapting to a warmer climate. Investing in improving knowledge about the costs and benefits of adaptation measures could avoid the wasteful mistakes seen in mitigation policies.”

Luke Walsh

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