In the years before 2008, the imperative of preventing global warming loomed largest. The EU adopted ambitious goals for cutting carbon and sourcing more and more energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar.
The world is different now. The 2008 financial crash, the ensuing Eurozone debt crisis and the weak recovery that followed have changed the parameters of the debate and made it harder for policy makers to balance what are often mutually conflicting goals. “There’s been a tangible shift in Europe,” says Roger Reynolds, a utilities specialist at Exane BNP Paribas in London. “The balance has now moved away from reducing emissions at any cost to the question of affordability.” That shift has happened despite any softening in the scientific consensus on global warming.’
Extract from FT Special Report October 14th 2013