The Climate Change Act of 2008
The Climate Change Act, which was passed with a majority of 148 to 51, makes it the duty of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (currently Amber Rudd MP) to reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, from the 1990 baseline, by 2050. It was the world's first ever legally binding emissions target. Having the Climate Change Act means that when we lobby our MPs, we are asking them to work towards a requirement they are already legally bound to fulfil. According to the Climate Change Committee, we are not currently on track to meet these targets.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC)
The Climate Change Committee was set up under the Act to advise the Government on reducing the UK's emissions. Each year the CCC publishes a report on the UK's progress in transitioning to a low-emissions economy and a set of recommendations for the Government. According to the 2015 report, this year the Government 'will need to develop plans to make up for the shortfall between current projected emissions and the legislated fourth carbon budget' p. 20.
2015 CCC Progress Report
The report highlights that during this Parliament, nearly all climate policies or funding are due to expire, including programmes and incentives to reduce energy bills through more efficient buildings, support low-carbon power investment, develop the market for low emissions vehicles and promote low-carbon heat. The report calls on the Government to implement strong and effective new policies as a matter of urgency in order to avoid meeting the legal emissions targets through the 2020s. You can read our summary of the report here.
Lobbying your MP
The recommendations of the CCC's report are an excellent starting point for a conversation with your MP. You can read a summary of the report, and some advice on how to use it when lobbying your MP, here.