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The Crown Management

The Crown Management

Communication, Community, Environment

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  • The Climate Change Act: Speaking Truth to Power?

    Environment, Environmental Design


    When the Climate Change Act was drafted, there was scepticism over its ability to hold government to account. Has it succeeded?

    When the Climate Change Act was passed, it was rightly promoted as a world-leading piece of legislation. One reason the Act was so ambitious was the high level of cross-party support it received. It was enacted by the Labour government, under pressure to do more on climate change by opposition parties and NGOs.

    Five years on, it is worth revisiting some of the criticisms that were made of the draft legislation. Most critics agreed with the principle of climate change mitigation. The political and economic context for climate change policy was more benign that it is today. Instead, they focused on some features of the draft bill that were seen as potentially ineffective.

    Scrutiny of the Draft Climate Change Bill was intense following its publication in early 2007. Three Parliamentary inquiries were held: by two House of Commons select committees and an official scrutiny committee of the Commons and the Lords. During their hearings, three issues received particular attention.

    First, many argued that the bill’s inclusion of a 60% emissions reduction by 2050 from 1990 levels was not enough. The climate science already showed that the UK would need to cut emissions by more than this to contribute its ‘fair share’ of a global effort to limit average temperatu...

  • Wilcox_177_

    The title of a new paper from three economists at the Federal Reserve is bloodless:"Aggregate Supply in the United States: Recent Developments and Implications for the Conduct of Monetary Policy"

    But its conclusions are chilling.

    The paper offers a depressing portrait of where the economy stands nearly six years after the onset of recession, and amounts to a damning indictment of U.S. policymakers. Their upshot: The United States's long-term economic potential has been diminished by the fact that policymakers have not done more to put people back to work quickly. Our national economic potential is now a whopping 7 percent below where it was heading at the pre-2007 trajectory, the authors find.

    As Dave Reifschneider, William Wascher and David Wilcox sum up in their abstract, “The recent financial crisis and ensuing recession appear to have put the productive capacity of the economy on a lower and shallower trajectory than the one that seemed to be in place prior to 2007.”

    What seems to be happening, they argue, is that people who lost their jobs in the recession have now been out of work for years, leading their skills to atrophy and them to become less attached to the workforce. As those workers’ productive capacity diminishes, so does the total potential of the U.S. economy.

    The authors argue that while the “natural” rate of unemployment — the proportion of joblessness in a fully healthy economy — has likely risen due to the recession, that effect shoul...