Net Zero 2050: How the UK can get Oil & Gas on Track

David Vergara Schleich, Tanya Lim, and Jenny Su

Introduction and Current Policies

In preparation for the 2021 COP 26 Conference in Glasgow, the United Kingdom (UK) published an ambitious white paper entitled “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener” in which it outlines policies to achieve a greenhouse gas (GHG) neutral economy by 2050.1 This makes the UK the first country to implement a legally binding timeline. In line with this strategy, the Government aims to mobilize up to £270 billion in public and private sector funds to transition the Power and Energy sector.2 Crucially, instead of viewing the Oil and Gas sector as an impediment to GHG neutrality, the Government envisions the sector to play a leading role in the energy transition .4 As part of the Net Zero Strategy, the relevant UK regulatory body , the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), has echoed the urgency to achieve GHG neutrality. In its “Revised Strategy”, the OGA warned that it would exercise its punitive powers should companies fail to comply with the timeline.5 Thus, the objectives of the government’s Net Zero Strategy are two-fold: in political-environmental terms, it is to achieve GHG neutrality to curb climate change and position the UK as a global paragon in environmental governance; secondly, it seeks to walk the fine line between incentivizing and coercing the Oil and Gas sector to accelerate its transition towards carbon neutrality and beyond 2050, towards renewable energies. 

Continue reading “Net Zero 2050: How the UK can get Oil & Gas on Track”

The Existing Structural Problems that Led to the Latin American Debt Crisis

The Latin American Debt Crisis of the 1980s (also known as the Lost Decade) was one of the most traumatic economic events in Latin American history. Before the 1980s, Latin American countries borrowed capital from foreign commercial banks to fuel their development. However, to soften the effects of the 1973 Oil Shock, the US Federal Reserve increased real interest rates. This increase led to a rapid rise of the real value of Latin American debt. In fact, by the 1980s, Latin America’s foreign debt amounted to nearly half of the region’s GDP. The crisis became evident when the Mexican government announced it could no longer service its debts in August 1982. Indeed, when foreign commercial banks halted the inflow of capital and demanded the repayment of existing foreign loans many other Latin American governments – including Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia – also announced that they could not make payments on their foreign debts.

Continue reading “The Existing Structural Problems that Led to the Latin American Debt Crisis”

The World Needs China More Than it Needs Us: Britain Should be Careful

The effects of Chinese stock market lows last week are illustrative of its self-sufficiency; the country no longer needs Western demand for cheap labour and manufacturing for economic growth. Instead, a centrally-regulated financial sector and vast amounts of foreign investment are the foundations for a sustainable, globalised economy. Continue reading “The World Needs China More Than it Needs Us: Britain Should be Careful”

Property: Hot & Cold event at JP Morgan HQ

On Wednesday 14 January, King’s Think Tank hosted a special business and economics event on the top floor of the JP Morgan headquarters, in Canary Wharf. Fully booked and overlooking one of the premier views in London, the inaugural event of the second semester welcomed housing experts Scott Corfe, Head of Macroeconomics at the Centre for Business and Economics Research (CEBR) and King’s College London Geography Professor Chris Hammett, to discuss the UK property market. Continue reading “Property: Hot & Cold event at JP Morgan HQ”