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The Demand for Environmental Quality in Driving Transitions to Low Polluting Energy Sources

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  • Roger Fouquet

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to understand the long run demand for energy-related environmental quality, its influence on legislation and on transitions to low polluting energy sources. It starts by presenting a simple framework of the relationship between the demand for and supply of environmental quality, environmental legislation and energy. This forms the structure for presenting a series of episodes in British history where a demand for improvements in energy-related environmental quality existed. This analysis proposes that markets can drive transitions to low polluting energy sources, in specific economic conditions. However, most probably, governments will need to push them, and this cannot be expected without strong and sustained demand for environmental improvements. Yet, while demand is a prerequisite, it is not enough. It must also be spearheaded by strong, creative and sustained pressure groups (i.e., powerful lobbying and the weakening of the counter-lobby) to introduce legislation, to enforce it and to avoid it being over-turned by future governments.

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  • Roger Fouquet, 2011. "The Demand for Environmental Quality in Driving Transitions to Low Polluting Energy Sources," Working Papers 2011-11, BC3.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcc:wpaper:2011-11
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    Cited by:

    1. Fouquet, Roger, 2016. "Lessons from energy history for climate policy: technological change, demand and economic development," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67785, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. W. Walker Hanlon, 2016. "Coal Smoke and the Costs of the Industrial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 22921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. W. Walker Hanlon, 2015. "Pollution and Mortality in the 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 21647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Csereklyei, Zsuzsanna & Thurner, Paul W. & Langer, Johannes & Küchenhoff, Helmut, 2017. "Energy paths in the European Union: A model-based clustering approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 442-457.
    5. Marchiori, Carmen & Dietz, Simon & Tavoni, Alessandro, 2017. "Domestic politics and the formation of international environmental agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 115-131.
    6. Marchiori, Carmen & Dietz, Simon & Tavoni, Alessandro, 2016. "Domestic politics and the formation of international environmental agreements," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67923, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Roger Fouquet, 2015. "Lessons from energy history for climate policy," GRI Working Papers 209, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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    Keywords

    Energy Transitions; Historical; Environmental Quality; Air Pollution.;

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