Comment on CCC progress report

Comment on the annual progress report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

By George Smeeton

Commenting on the annual progress report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), published today (25 June), Adair Turner, Senior Fellow, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) said: “The Committee is absolutely right to stress the huge opportunity for policies which both drive economic recovery and accelerate progress towards a zero carbon economy.

“In world of rock bottom interest rates, now is the time to invest in renewable energy and other key forms of green infrastructure; faced with huge employment challenges, policy must focus on creating green jobs and government support for firms should be contingent on strengthened commitments to emission reductions and avoid supporting old technologies and potentially stranded assets.

“Sectors such as renewable energy, tree-planting and home energy retrofits offer major opportunities for near-term job creation and would also shift the UK economy onto a net zero trajectory. This is a clear win-win opportunity which must be seized.”

Commenting on energy efficiency, Jess Ralston, Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “For some time, it’s been obvious that the UK’s building stock is not up to the net zero standard and during the pandemic, our homes have become more important than ever. Yet again today, the CCC’s report really highlights that we have to get a move on – as more than one house per minute will need to be retrofitted to 2050 in order to meet the UK’s climate goals.

“As well as tackling one of the trickier sectors to decarbonise, making homes energy efficient and lowering energy bills at the same time can also unlock well-paid, skilled jobs right across the country. In areas where homes have the poorest energy performance, such as those in the North and Midlands, more jobs will be created to retrofit their stock, generating a real opportunity for them to level up whilst meeting the Government’s legally binding targets.”

Dr Camilla Toulmin, Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said:

“With the climate negotiations pushed back by a year due to the pandemic, as President to COP26 we cannot see a slowdown or delay to climate action in 2020. Climate impacts are being felt in the UK and across the world with increasing frequency. Many African countries are facing a severe debt crisis from the double hit of climate impacts and the pandemic. The climate crisis has not stopped.

“The CCC report shows that the UK can show international leadership by presenting recovery package offers a win for the economy, jobs and for a low carbon climate resilient future.”