The Committee on Climate Change – Progress on adaptation and mitigation in the UK

Date of the report

30 June 2015

Author of the report

The Committee on Climate Change

Purpose of the report

The Committee on Climate Change has published a landmark joint report that analyses the UK’s progress in tackling both the causes and consequences of climate change. Join us on Wednesday 15th July in one of five locations across England to discuss the findings live with the CCC (details below).

Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee, together with Lord Krebbs, Chair of the Adaptation Sub Committee and Matthew Bell, CCC Chief Executive presented and discussed their findings with MPs on 30th June at Portcullis House in London.

The seventh annual statutory report on mitigation (on how well the UK is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and meeting its carbon budgets) is accompanied by the very first statutory report on adaptation (on how well the UK is managging its climate risks and implementing the National Adaptation Programme). Some of the key findings include:

Mitigation Whilst there was a welcome drop in greenhouse gas emissions of 8% in the last year (in 2014 compared to 2013), the CCC points out that a number of policies are due to expire by 2020 or are unfunded. The Committee recommends that early action is needed in this Parliament to renew policies in order to provide incentives and reduce uncertainty for investors in low carbon technology, to help keep the UK on a low carbon trajectory over time.

Adaptation The CCC finds that action is well underway in the implementation of the National Adaptation Programme (launched in 2013), but that many actions aren’t well defined enough to know whether they are having the desired effect of reducing vulnerability. The Committee recommends that the next iteration of the NAP is much clearer in its priorities.

What SWM likes

The timing and content of these two reports is highly significant. They are being released in the early days of a new Parliament, in the year of a critical United Nations Climate Summit in December in Paris in December. Because they are produced by an independent advisory body that was established under the Climate Change Act 2008, they provide an independent and objective assessment of progress by government and others. The nature of the assessment could either help or hinder the UK government’s position in international negotiations in the run up to Paris, to secure a globally binding deal to tackle climate change.

We feel that the report will help to re-focus minds on the issue of climate change, in particular adaptation, which is often seen as the harder sell when compared to mitigation.  We endorse the recommendations and hope that the reports offer a way forward in tackling the issues that need addressing now.

Links and contact information

The reports can be accessed here. Climate UK has also made a recording of the live launch event which took place on 15 July.