Rallying call demands climate response

Those who inform our Government’s climate strategy are calling. They want cash, they want action, and they want them now. Will Mr Cameron heed their cry?

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has delivered what amounts to an ultimatum to Number Ten Downing Street.

CCC, the Government’s key advisory body on sustainability, is not mincing words. By highlighting the enormous risks posed by today’s uncertain emissions policies, it does two things.

Putting a rocket under sustainability

First, CCC is making no bones that without action, the UK will miss climate targets. Policies with no certainty up to and beyond 2020, it argues, will encourage stop-start investment. This will spell higher costs and damage, perhaps irrevocably, thousands of green businesses.

Second, the body is putting the new administration on the ropes. If Cameron denies CCC’s demands, he will have no defence when Conservative green policy fails. His position on environment would  become largely untenable, vulnerable to attack from across the political spectrum.

What exactly does the CCC want?

CCC’s recommendations are:

  • extend funding for low-carbon electricity generation to 2025, to support investment and innovation and cut costs
  • agree an action plan delivering low-carbon heat and energy efficiency, allowing homes to be heated for less, addressing risks from rising temperatures and flooding
  • continue support for efficient, low-emission vehicles to save money
  • develop new infrastructure to combat climate change

“Support for the UK’s low carbon economy, and the technology driving it, is fundamental to meeting targets to minimise climate change. Cameron’s Green Economy remains undeliverable without concrete policy support to enable long term decision making.”

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “This Government has a unique opportunity to shape climate policy through the 2020s. It must act now to set out how it plans to keep the UK on track. Acting early will help to reduce costs to households, business and the Exchequer. It will create opportunities for business in manufacturing and in the service sector.”

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