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23 November 2023

Time for big ideas as the SPE Policy Pitch competition returns

New policy initiatives will be needed if the UK is to meet its pledge to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


But hard-won momentum behind campaigns to mitigate our impact on the environment risks being undermined by persistently high inflation and a productivity slump, which have put pressure on household finances and contributed to stagnating economic growth.

So how do ministers keep climate change at the top of the agenda without exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis for citizens? And how do you boost productivity to stimulate the economic growth that will be vital to financing the green technology transition?

That’s where you come in…

The School of Politics and Economics’ annual Policy Pitch competition is back for 2024 and we’re on the lookout once more for creative submissions from our students.

Now in its fourth year, the competition has attracted some standout ideas from both individuals and teams and even resulted in policies that have gone on to have real-world impact.

This year, students are tasked with suggesting an environmental policy that could be implemented by the UK’s central government to simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions, addressing the cost-of-living and low-productivity crises.

You can find the brief in full HERE

The 2023 winners, Tara and Joe. Picture: SPE

Last year, a policy designed to put the brakes on ‘fast fashion’ impressed judges and took home the top prize.

Students Tara and Joe’s pitch, the Responsible Clothing Fund, proposed a voucher for all adults and children in the UK entitling them to 50 per cent off up to a spend of £30 on clothing at a charity shop.

With the fast fashion industry a major contributor to carbon emissions globally, the pair hoped the policy would encourage consumers to switch to a more sustainable method of shopping while also assisting families with cost of living pressures.

You can read more about last year’s competition here.

This year, there will once again be prizes available for the best entries.

The event is open to both teams of up to three and to individuals (undergraduates only) and the final will be taking place on 28 February. Ahead of the competition, entrants are asked to submit a policy outline of 300-500 words. Entries will then be shortlisted and the finalists asked to prepare a presentation for judges.

How to submit

The deadline for submitting the policy outline is 23.59 on Sunday, 4 February.

You should submit your policies at the form here.