I’m the Chief Economist at the CCC. Each month, I will update you on the latest analytical discussions from our Committee. Members of the Committee are experts in climate science, economics and engineering. They direct our work programme and each month, meet to review and debate emerging findings in order to ensure our work is robust and credible. They also guide and contribute to future work plans.
Top of the agenda in our latest meeting (11 June) was the Committee’s 2nd report to Parliament on the progress that has been made in meeting carbon budgets (to be published 30 June). The latest data that we have shows UK greenhouse gas emissions falling by 8.6% over the past year. The Committee debated what the key drivers might be behind this – is this reduction due to recessionary impacts or other factors, such as the implementation of new policy measures?
We also discussed some of the emerging messages from the work that we are doing to advise Government on the second phase cap (2013-18) for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency scheme (we are publishing a report on this in September).
The Committee has also been looking at how analytical work plans are developing for our 4th carbon budget report (to be published by December). This report will include a review of developments in climate science since 2008, and will consider options – amongst other things – for heat decarbonisation in the 2020s (including the potential role of heat pumps and biomass), plus the potential for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to be applied to gas generation (read our recent letter to Chris Huhne on this).
Lastly, the Committee were provided with an update on emerging findings from a report into low carbon innovation. Is the UK investing enough in the right technologies and research in order to meet carbon budgets? We were asked to conduct this review by the Government’s Chief Scientist Professor John Beddington. The report should be published in July.
These minutes will be agreed at the next meeting and made available in more detail on our website in July. For previous minutes of all of our Committee meetings please see our website. http://www.theccc.org.uk/about-the-ccc/minutes-of-meetings
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