This post is by Jill Rutter, senior fellow at the Institute for Government.
Much of the political debate around climate change has focused on the ambition of the target. Last year Theresa May upped the target laid down in the Climate Change Act, accepting the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC’s) assessment that the UK could reach net zero in 2050. In the election there was a competition over dates: Lib Dems offered 2045; Labour hinted at 2030. Extinction Rebellion want to eliminate all emissions by 2025.
This post is by John Cridland, chairman of Transport for the North and of the Home Group, and chair of the Green Innovation Policy Commission
The UK’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, and the prominence that climate and environment are having in the current election campaign, suggests that politicians understand the need for action on climate as well as the benefits that decarbonisation could offer to the country’s economy. Read more
This post is by Dr Ajay Gambhir, senior research fellow at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the UK Climate Change Act, the first of a kind legislation to hold a country to a long term greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal. One of its central components, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), is actually a year older than the act itself, having been established in a non-legislated ‘shadow’ form in 2007, to prepare advice on what the act’s long term emissions goal should be and how it could be achieved. Read more
This blog was first published by Business Green.
The unprecedented, prolonged heatwave that Britain and much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing seems to have brought climate change, albeit temporarily, to the forefront of our public and political discourse. A timely report from the Environmental Audit Committee has warned there will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050, triple today’s rate, if we do not take further action. Former energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd penned a Times op-ed stating climate change is here and rising global temperatures are already baked in. But the thrust of her argument was that a madcap approach to Brexit could unravel Britain’s ambitious climate goals. Addressing climate change, she said, requires “co-operation, shared sovereignty and internationalism.”
The government published its Road to Zero strategy this week, as a pathway to decarbonise the road transport sector, the source of a quarter of the UK’s annual carbon emissions. The strategy also aims to show how this transition will make Britain a global leader in low carbon vehicles and their associated infrastructure. Read more
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today published its analysis of the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), the government’s blueprint for meeting the targets it is legally bound to achieve under the Climate Change Act.
The analysis highlights a worrying gap (of 10-65 MTCO2e) between the government’s existing policies and commitments and the requirements set under the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. To bridge this gap and minimise delivery risks, the CCC says, the government must urgently firm up the policies, proposals and intentions laid out in the Clean Growth
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned in its latest annual progress report that the UK is significantly behind its 2030 targets to reduce carbon emissions and, without additional policy and new strategies, we will fail to meet our legally binding commitments. Here are five highlights worth drawing out from the report:
The recent letter from conservative backbenchers supporting the fifth carbon budget reminds us again that the Climate Change Act is worth its weight in gold. Eight years on from its agreement the act retains strong cross party support, despite concerted attempts to make climate change a partisan issue. Its regular budget setting cycle means the government regularly has to restate and reappraise the longer term direction of the economy. Carbon budgets have provided one of the few points of stability in a period of high policy volatility. Read more
Few political deals deserve to be called historic but, as President Obama tweeted a few minutes after the gavel came down in Paris, “this is huge”. It’s huge because it’s a global agreement which means every country has to review its effort every five years. Historic because it’s a one way street to net zero emissions, and it will accelerate the low carbon technology shift we are already seeing in the global energy economy. Read more
This is a guest post by David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change
Our report on how local authorities can reduce emissions originated in questions raised as the Energy Bill passed through Parliament in 2010. In particular, there was a suggestion that local authorities should be set carbon budgets. Greg Barker’s response was to commission us to provide advice on the role of local authorities in reducing emissions.