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CCC Chairs write to Prime Minister outlining post-election priorities for tackling climate change

Thu 19 December 2019 | Back to news list

The Committee on Climate Change has written to the Prime Minister outlining its assessment of the priorities for the new Government to reduce UK emissions and prepare for climate change. On transport, the Committee calls for rapid progress to be made in the implementation of the manifesto commitment to consult on an earlier phase-out of petrol and diesel cars, ideally by 2030.
The letter, from Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, and Baroness Brown, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson highlights the need for "improved climate governance and five key priorities for Government on cutting UK emissions":
Buildings. An ambitious and properly funded strategy for entirely removing fossil fuels from the UK’s building stock, with action beginning immediately and standards that set a clear path for the longer-term.
Transport. Rapid progress in the implementation of the manifesto commitment to consult on an earlier phase-out of petrol and diesel cars, ideally by 2030.
Electricity. Delivering on the manifesto commitment for 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 – and ensuring that any market reforms are complementary to the Net Zero goal.
Industry. Developing an ongoing mechanism to pay for emissions reductions from industry and an approach to delivering hydrogen and CCS infrastructure, alongside your promised capital support.
Land use and agriculture. Introducing a world-leading package through the Agriculture and Environment Bills to cut emissions from agriculture and to pay for the 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of annual tree planting promised in the manifesto.
On climate governance, the Committee's Chief Executive, Chris Stark, writes: "Governance gaps abound. Not just the immense cross-Government challenge of achieving Net Zero, but also the perilous state of our climate change adaptation planning.
"The new Climate Cabinet, promised before the election, is a welcome step. A harder task may prove to be establishing meaningful collaboration with other parts of Government – with local authorities, many of which have declared a ‘climate emergency’ this year, and especially with the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Governments, who hold some of the critical policy-making powers.
"Just as constitutional tensions are running high, we really need an integrated approach across the whole of the UK."
The Committee's recent assessment of UK action to adapt to climate change concluded that the UK is worryingly unprepared for the changes ahead. The letter outlines a series of key actions that need to be taken to prepare for the likely impacts of climate chane in the UK.
The Committee's letter says that Government actions in the coming year will define the UK response to the climate crisis..."As host of next year’s UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, the steps we take in the next 12 months will also have a lasting global impact”, the Chairs write. “In this Parliament, the UK must get on track to delivering Net Zero emissions, and adapt to the climate-related changes we are experiencing.”
For further details, see the associated links.

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