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The real barrier to zero carbon

A government which isn’t listening

By Nick Butler  

An oil pumpjack at work. Photo: Ljm/Zuma Press/PA Images

Carbon charges—taxes if you wish—are the most effective market mechanism for shifting the pattern of energy use away from hydrocarbons such as oil and gas and towards sustainable alternatives. Many of the alternatives are already available at a reasonable cost, while others are the subject of promising research and development work. As a new study shows, charges, accompanied by targeted regulations, can incentivise the change. The energy transition is emphatically possible. The problem is that the while the government has…

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