Reducing UK Emissions – 2018 Progress Report to Parliament

Date of the report

June 2018

Author of the report

Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

Purpose of the report

The CCC has recently published its  report to Parliament on reducing UK emissions, as a means of tackling climate change. This report outlines and explains the levels to which industry have been successful or unsuccessful in the reduction of their emissions. The report tells of the successes of some areas, such as the 48% reduction from waste emissions, however, also shines a light on those that have failed to achieve such results. While, overall, UK emissions are down 43% in comparison to the 1990 baseline, the majority of this progress has been as a result of innovation and change in electricity generation. Whereas in other sectors, reductions have stalled.

This is an important report as it establishes the direction that the Government may turn in its efforts in reducing the United Kingdom’s impact on the environment through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Lord Deben, Chairman for the CCC provides his views on the report, below:

“UK emissions continue to fall and we’ve seen progress wherever policymakers have been bold enough to make strategic commitments. Since 2008, successive Governments have focused on reducing emissions from electricity generation, just as this Committee recommended they should. Strong UK policies have closed coal plants and supported remarkable increases in renewable generation, accompanied by dramatic reductions in costs, far beyond the level the naysayers said was possible. Emissions from waste are also down 48% since 2008 – an unsung story, the outcome of EU regulation and the UK landfill tax.

We should celebrate this progress, but it masks a worrying trend in other sectors. In this report, we refer to the ‘uneven’ balance of emissions reduction, a polite way of drawing attention to Government inaction in a host of areas. Our stalwarts, the power sector, have again propped up the 3% fall in overall emissions this year.

“At the ten year anniversary of the Climate Change Act, we have reached a critical moment. We must now step beyond the well-trodden path into every sector of the economy. Indecision risks undermining the remarkable successes of the last decade. In 2008, there was a moment of consensus and enthusiasm for bold action on the climate. I now look forward to recapturing that enthusiasm, as we plan the next decade of action.”

What SWM likes

SWM is pleased that the CCC continues to hold the government to account on its progress – which let’s not forget is mandatory – with climate change and carbon management. It provides simple and straight to the point recommendations that are actually quite simple and equate largely to ‘let’s get on with it.’ The message is clear, unequivocal and constructive and we also appreciate the sectoral breakdown, many of which match directly with SWM’s priorities.