The UK pioneered a legal and institutional framework for climate action with the Climate Change Act and the establishment of an independent Climate Change Committee in 2008. This has since guided 15 years of UK policy and progress, including an upgrade of the 2050 goal to Net Zero in 2019, on the advice of the Committee.
The concept of an independent, expert, statutory body tasked with advising Government and assessing progress against statutory goals was a novelty in 2008. It has since become a well-established institution, guiding action in the UK and increasingly replicated in other countries. Two Committees, on emissions reduction and on adaptation, are formed of world-leading scientists, engineers, academics, and representatives of business. They are served by a secretariat of public servants, tasked with technical analysis and advice. Together, they produce widely respected evaluation and commentary on the UK’s climate progress.
An extraordinary library of reports, analysis and advice has been produced in the last 15 years, including crucial evidence and advice on the UK’s statutory carbon budgets and three climate change risk assessments. Parliament has legislated all six carbon budgets to date in line with the Committee’s advice. This evidence has in turn shaped and progressed private sector action, in critical areas like the UK’s renewables sector.
The CCC has helped generate a widely supported and faster transition than seen across other G20 nations. We are proud of this legacy, and we look forward to the next 15 years of UK progress, which is a critical period of delivery against the UK’s climate ambitions.