Reports and briefings

The following reports and briefings have been produced thanks to the support of our core funders: The European Climate Foundation, the The Ecofin Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Bespoke analysis, reports and briefings on a range of topics can be commissioned - please contact us if you wish to discuss options.

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    January 2016

    This briefing urges Members of Parliament to promote strong and transparent rules for the 5th carbon budget by defending clause 80 in the 2015-16 Energy Bill.

    Clause 80 seeks to make the government accountable for ensuring all of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions stay within any new carbon budgets adopted. The government has moved to strike this Lords amendment from the Bill as it passes through the House of Commons.

    Currently, the government is only responsible for meeting half of the UK carbon budgets. It is only accountable for reducing emissions from sectors like buildings, transport and agriculture. Meeting the other half of the carbon budget is completely outsourced to companies in the EU Emissions Trading scheme (ETS), and is treated as being met automatically, irrespective of whether actual emissions from these sectors are higher or lower than the UK’s ETS budget.

    January 2016

    *** Please note, the Italian data is incorrect due to a change in ENTSOE reporting. This report will be updated in the next few days when we understand what the correct data is.  Sincere apologies for this. ***


    Today, Sandbag releases a review of the European power sector in 2015.

    2015 saw a record increase in renewables generation, equal to 2.5% of European electricity demand. But despite this, power sector CO2 emissions are expected to fall by only about 0.5%.

    January 2016

    Guest authored by Suzanna Hinson, Stephen Tindale and Andy Kerr.

    This report was commissioned by Sandbag to explore why the UK, in the light of the Paris Agreement at COP21 in December, could consider an additional ‘net zero emissions’ long-term goal for the Climate Change Act 2008.

    This report makes recommendations relevant for discussion in the Energy Bill [HL] 2015-16, as it enters the House of Commons.

    January 2016

    This briefing sets out for Members of Parliament how and why the Energy Bill 2015-2016 should legislate for policy to ensure coal is phased-out of the UK energy mix before 2025, as set out in the UK government's historic commitment before COP21.

    December 2015

    The UK capacity auction results were annouced today.  It was a shambles as expected: no new gas or interconnection, very little demand-response, and lots of new diesel funded by generous tax-breaks for the rich.  

    December 2015

    A short consultation response (on CFDs for retrofit power CCS), following the government's defunding of the UK CCS Commercialisation Competition, offering some alternative ideas on UK strategy for capturing carbon.

    November 2015

    Flaws in the way EU Member States forecast emissions mean Europe is cutting CO2 faster than previously thought.

    Sandbag’s new analysis reveals that Member State forecasts for both 2014 and 2015 are significantly above actual emission levels.  We think this is the thin end of the wedge.  Our forecast of EUETS emissions shows that Europe is on target to achieve economy-wide emissions cuts of 30% by 2020, against 1990 levels

    This is better than the 23% cuts achieved in 2014, better than the 25% cuts that the European Environment Agency forecasts for 2020, and most importantly it is substantially better than the European Union's current target of 20% cuts by 2020. 

    Europe’s is cutting emissions much faster than it thinks.  It is time to tighten climate Europe’s ambition to lock-in the emissions cuts that Europe is actually delivering.

    October 2015

    Sandbag is eager to see a strong 5th carbon budget put in place that ensures the UK can fully meet its international obligations and cost-effectively meet its 2050 target.

    This will require building in appropriate margins of error when estimating our future EU commitments at such an advanced stage; it will require building in flexibility to accommodate any increase in Europe’s commitments over time; it will require that the abatement effort to meet the 2050 goal is not unrealistically deferred; and finally it will require clear accounting and strong governance to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to get us there.

    We provide some specific recommendations on these themes in the letter attached which we hope might inform the Climate Change Committee’s formal advice on the 5th carbon budget.

    October 2015

    The term 'Carbon Capture and Storage' (CCS) has been too narrowly focused on capturing CO2 emissions from coal power and building large transport and storage networks for deep geologic storage. In fact, CCS covers a suite of technologies for capturing CO2 emissions, and its most important use may be for capturing industrial process emissions.

    Equally, whilst deep geologic storage (for instance in old oil fields in the North Sea) is likely to capture the bulk of emissions, an important portion of emissions, especially from small distributed sources, could be captured through Mineral Carbonation: turning CO2 into minerals. This briefing looks at the possibilities for that technology, and serves as a reminder that if we are to successfully tackle climate change, there is a need for a great variation of technologies.

    October 2015

    Sandbag's complementary briefing to accompany our response to theEuropean Commission's new Energy Market Design consultation. In it, we propose a European-wide electricity supplier decarbonisation obligation, to enable continued decarbonisation in the face of a weak EU carbon price, and weakly-enforcable renewables and energy-efficiency targets.

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