2015 Climate Change Committee Progress Report- A Summary

This report was released in June 2015 by the Climate Change Committee who is responsible under the Climate Change Act of 2008 for monitoring the progress of the Government in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. We have summarised the paint points from the report which may be a useful starting point for your conversation with your MP.

You can read the full report here.

The report frames action on climate change as a positive opportunity, as well as necessary to avoid its dangerous effects-

"Reducing emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change provide the opportunity to drive innovation, support growth, contribute to improved health, develop effective and resilient infrastructure and minimise the disruptions caused by flooding, water scarcity and other climate change risks." p. 2

The report asks two questions of the new Government-

  1. First, what steps will the Government take during this Parliament to make sure that targets to reduce emissions for the 2020s and beyond are achieved in a cost-effective way? Virtually all policies or funding in these areas are due to expire during this Parliament. Without significant new policies progress will fall behind what is required to meet legal obligations through the 2020s. 
  2. How will Government address the increasing risks caused by past emissions? Welcome investment has been made in flood defences but the risk to some households continues to rise. In addition, higher temperatures pose risks to health and productivity that are not being properly addressed. 

Progress so far-

The Committee is encouraged that there appears to have been an 8% decrease in emissions, despite the UK's strong economic growth. However, despite seeing significant drops in certain areas such as a 6% reduction from industry, the milder winter months account for the majority of this drop. 

What progress is needed?

"Decisions taken in this Parliament are vital to how the UK responds to climate change. These are decisions that will determine delivery of important mitigation and adaptation goals for the remainder of this decade, whilst setting the direction in both areas for the 2020s. Clarity on that direction needs to be set soon."

The report sets out a list of recommendations, shown below. It would be useful to ask your MP if they would be willing to support these policies.