- 3rd July 2017
- Posted by: Sophie Bunker
- Category: Blog
Reducing Emissions and Preparing for Climate Change
29 June saw the launch of the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) statutory 2017 Report to Parliament.
The report sets out the CCC’s latest independent assessment of UK action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Technical Director, Phil Bennett-Lloyd, attended the report launch event at Portcullis House, which was sponsored by Peter Aldous MP. There were keynotes from Claire Perry, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC and Baroness Brown, the new Chair of the Adaptation Sub-Committee.
Recommendations to Government
The outgoing Chief Executive of the CCC, Matthew Bell, presented the broad range of headlines and challenges for the Government. These include the following key recommendations:
- The Government needs to urgently deliver a plan to continue reducing emissions across the economy, given that the 4th Carbon Budget is not on track. Whilst the 5th Carbon Budget has been set (July 2016), no proposals or policies have yet been laid before Parliament as Government is required to do under the Climate Change Act 2008.
- The UK’s National Adaptation Programme should be updated and strengthened to address priority areas. These include property-level and surface water flood risk, risks to wildlife and soils, and risks to health and well-being from higher temperatures.
- The highest priority risk for the UK continues to be flooding and coastal risk to communities, businesses and infrastructure.
Good and not so good news
There was some good news in that greenhouse gas emissions are now around 42% lower than in 1990. Importantly, whilst emissions have steadily fallen, there is good evidence that GDP has not been compromised. Rather, it has increased over the same period by some 65%.
Worryingly however, emissions from transport and buildings remain on the increase and the condition of the UK’s natural environment continues to decline. Added to this, time is running out for the current tranche of carbon reduction and adaptation policies. Many policies are ending around 2020 so new effective policies are urgently needed. Plus, necessary time in Whitehall and Westminster will be needed to develop them.
We are at the cutting edge of managing many of these risks. We provide practical support to deliver the UK’s climate change policies and programmes. These address vulnerabilities and enable constructive changes to the way we live our lives and manage our environment.
We have directly supported the work of the CCC. This has involved reviewing key chapters of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017. We have also undertaken research concerning the impact of newly developed flood risk schemes on long term residual risk. This helped inform the report on preparing for climate change. Our climate change resilience analysis, for HS2 Ltd, is cited in the progress report as the most comprehensive example of considering the impacts of climate change in relation to infrastructure interdependencies.
Want to know more?
You can also contact Phil Bennett-Lloyd for more information on the report launch event.