Climate Change Committee Progress Report Challenges Government on Carbon Targets

This year saw the release of new detail on the Government’s plans for Net Zero with the publication of the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan (CBDP) prompted by last year’s High Court judgement. But policy development continues to be too slow and our assessment of the CBDP has raised new concerns. Despite new detail from Government, our confidence in the UK meeting its medium-term targets has decreased in the past year. The increased transparency embodied in the CBDP is welcome, but a key opportunity to raise the overall pace of delivery has been missed.

Some of the key messages include:

  • A lack of urgency. While the policy framework has continued to develop over the past year, this is not happening at the required pace for future targets.
  • Stay firm on existing commitments and move to delivery. The Government has made a number of strong commitments, these must be restated and moved as swiftly as possible towards delivery.
  • Retake a clear leadership role internationally. The UK will need to regain its international climate leadership.
  • Immediate priority actions and policies. Action is needed in a range of areas to deliver on the Government’s emissions pathway.
  • Develop demand-side and land use policies. The Government’s current strategy has considerable delivery risks due to its over-reliance on specific technological solutions, some of which have not yet been deployed at scale.

There are also challenges to the water industry:

  • Recognising that water companies need to balance deliverables, targets (pollution reduction, water resource and flood risk management) and the need to keep bills low, this may put pressure on the decarbonisation agenda, especially around wastewater.
  • OFWAT must scrutinise the plans of water companies to ensure these include appropriate measures to reduce wastewater emissions in line with the Government pathway and sector targets, and set out the key measures being taken alongside performance against relevant KPIs on an annual basis.
  • Innovation and low carbon technologies are key to targets being achieved.

Down load a copy of the report here