CCC: UK at risk of missing net zero

June 30, 2022

Report flags major failures in UK climate delivery programmes

The independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) has published a new Progress Report, which has flagged “major failures” in delivery programmes toward the achievement of the UK’s climate goals. 

In its revamp of the framework for monitoring the UK’s climate progress, CCC has identified the changes needed to achieve its net zero target, as it states that the current strategy will not be able to meet this aim. 

CCC Chairman, Lord Deben, said: “The UK is a champion in setting new climate goals, now we must be world-beaters in delivering them. In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, the country is crying out to end its dependence on expensive fossil fuels.” 

The report made over 300 recommendations for filling out policies over the next year, and noted that while the net zero strategy contains “warm words on the wider enablers of the transition”, there has been little progress.  

Despite the target being signed into law in 2019, there is still an absence of a public engagement strategy. Meanwhile, the HM Treasury still needs to decide how the full range of costs and benefits of the transition will be shared. 

According to the CCC, governance and clear roles and responsibilities between the central government and other actors are key in achieving net zero. 

The report stated: “Effective accountability mechanisms to translate these into practice will also be necessary. Without these, the required changes will not happen at the pace required, if at all.” 

CCC also suggested that embedding and integrating net zero and climate adaptation across the policy landscape is vital to the delivery of the strategy.  

Elsewhere in the report, CCC identified that the areas of strongest progress are backed and led by well-designed Government policy. This includes the deployment of renewable electricity as emissions from electricity generation have fallen by nearly 70% in the last decade.  

Additionally, it highlighted that electric cars are being adopted in greater numbers each year and their rise is already ahead of CCC and Government growth projections. 

Deben concluded: “I welcome the government’s restated commitment to net zero, but holes must be plugged in its strategy urgently. The window to deliver real progress is short. We are eagle-eyed for the promised action.” 

Last Updated: 1 July 2022