Political economy of energy

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    New fossil fuel investments may become stranded if demand for fossil fuel declines due to technological change. This could amount to a discounted global wealth loss of US$1–4 trillion, with the negative impact for producer countries amplified by climate mitigation policies of consumer countries.

    • J.-F. Mercure
    • , H. Pollitt
    • , J. E. Viñuales
    • , N. R. Edwards
    • , P. B. Holden
    • , U. Chewpreecha
    • , P. Salas
    • , I. Sognnaes
    • , A. Lam
    •  & F. Knobloch
  • Reviews |

    Coal-generated electricity forms a significant contribution to global carbon emissions. This Perspective explores the factors behind Great Britain's recent rapid switch from coal power to natural gas, which brought a large decrease in emissions, and discusses savings potential for other coal-using nations.

    • I. A. Grant Wilson
    •  & Iain Staffell
    Nature Energy 3, 365-372
  • Reviews |

    A policy sequence for low-carbon policy that is politically effective continues to face challenges of environmental and cost effectiveness. This Perspective outlines ways to address these issues within political constraints.

    • Jonas Meckling
    • , Thomas Sterner
    •  & Gernot Wagner
    Nature Energy 2, 918-922
  • Reviews |

    Cheap energy can encourage economic growth but it can also force economies into specific energy-intensive futures. Roger Fouquet argues that path dependence in energy systems has profound implications for an economy and should be considered carefully before governments make choices about energy provision.

    • Roger Fouquet
    Nature Energy 1, 16098

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    China recently announced its national emissions trading scheme, advancing market-based approaches to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Its evolution over coming years will determine whether it becomes an effective part of China’s portfolio of climate policies.

    • Frank Jotzo
    • , Valerie Karplus
    • , Michael Grubb
    • , Andreas Löschel
    • , Karsten Neuhoff
    • , Libo Wu
    •  & Fei Teng
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Most scenarios to meet the Paris Agreement require negative emissions technologies. The EU has assumed a global leadership role in mitigation action and low-carbon energy technology development and deployment, but carbon dioxide removal presents a serious challenge to its low-carbon policy paradigm and experience.

    • Vivian Scott
    •  & Oliver Geden
    Nature Energy 3, 350-352
  • News and Views |

    Gasoline taxes are considered to be a cost-effective policy instrument for reducing carbon emissions. A study finds that while gasoline taxes rose in 83 countries between 2003 and 2015, the global mean fell by 13.3% due to a shift in consumption towards countries that maintain gasoline subsidies or that have low taxes.

    • C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell
    Nature Energy 2, 16206
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The US plays a key role in shoring up European energy security and this is unlikely to change dramatically after the November 2016 elections. However, the outcome could compound longer term risks to an internationally engaged US energy policy, affecting European energy security and diplomacy.

    • David Koranyi
    Nature Energy 1, 16160
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Hillary Clinton's campaign has stressed her continuity with Obama's energy policy on key aspects such as decarbonization of the US economy, technological innovation and global cooperation. However, policy reforms to deliver long-term climate goals might be out of reach in a highly divided Congress.

    • Joseph E. Aldy
    Nature Energy 1, 16162