The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the world. The ways it has done so are yet to be fully understood. Many of our post Cold War assumptions have been upended: Germany has abandoned its longstanding policy of maintaining a limited armed forces to commit €100 billion to defence spending; Switzerland has departed from its historical neutrality to apply sanctions to Russia; Finland is now openly discussing NATO membership and things we had assumed would never happen continue to do so on a daily basis. Set against the human tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine, these events can seem small or insignificant in comparison. Nonetheless, they are likely to have enduring consequences for everyone in Europe. Particularly when it comes to how Europe, including the UK, powers itself.
Last week Brevia Energy released the findings of its audit of the Government’s 2020 Energy White Paper. The results, which were covered by Energy Live News, highlighted how nearly half of the commitments included in the Energy White Paper have been hit or look likely to be reached. However, the research also showed that answers to the ‘Who Pays?’ question remain needed. With the Government expected to publish both its Net Zero Strategy and Heat and Buildings strategy soon, greater detail on that may be soon forthcoming. That is likely to provoke debate about the direction of policy and open new fronts for businesses to make their case about how the net zero transition should be delivered.
Yesterday, the final Police and Crime Commissioner ballot results from the 6 May 2021 elections were announced. This brought to a conclusion the process started last week to elect 145 English local councils, 13 English mayors and 39 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales. As well as the Welsh Parliament (60 seats), London Assembly (25 seats) and, crucially, the Scottish Parliament (129 seats) and the Hartlepool Westminster by-election. These results will have significant implications for all the major political parties in the UK. This will undoubtedly impact the lobbying strategies of companies seeking to influence the direction of policy in our country.