This is the Committee’s 2020 report to Parliament, assessing progress in reducing UK emissions over the past year. This year, the report includes new advice to the UK Government on securing a green and resilient recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. It recommends that Ministers seize the opportunity to turn the COVID-19 crisis into a defining moment in the fight against climate change. Although a limited number of steps have been taken over the past year to support the transition to a net-zero economy and improve the UK’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, much remains to be done. For the first time, the Committee sets out its recommendations government department by government department.
2. Key findings
The Committee’s new analysis expands on its May 2020 advice to the UK Prime Minister in which it set out the principles for building a resilient recovery. In its new report, the Committee has assessed a wide set of measures and gathered the latest evidence on the role of climate policies in the economic recovery. Its report highlights five clear investment priorities in the months ahead:
- Low-carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future
- Tree planting, peatland restoration, and green infrastructure
- Energy networks must be strengthened
- Infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle, and work remotely
- Moving towards a circular economy.
There are also opportunities to support the transition and the recovery by investing in the UK’s workforce, and in lower-carbon behaviours and innovation:
- Reskilling and retraining programmes
- Leading a move towards positive behaviours
- Targeted science and innovation funding