CCC to push for green response to COVID-19

16th April 2020

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The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will include advice on supporting a green, resilient response to the coronavirus crisis in its annual report to parliament in June.

The CCC will also write to ministers in the coming weeks to set out initial advice on ensuring that rebuilding efforts support a just transition towards net zero emissions, and strengthen the UK's preparedness for climate change.

It also announced that advice on the sixth carbon budget covering 2033-2037 will be published in December 2020, instead of in September, to provide additional time to complete the analysis and reflect on the impacts of the crisis.

CCC chief executive Chris Stark said: “Responding to the pandemic is, rightly, the immediate priority for everyone.

“Eventually, thoughts will turn to the need to rebuild after coronavirus – the climate priorities can help shape these efforts. The committee will offer advice to government on constructing a resilient recovery.“

Fears have been raised that the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic could risk locking in fossil fuels for decades, potentially derailing international climate goals.

However, the CCC said that its third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report, which it plans to deliver to government next year, is still scheduled for publication in summer 2021, although this date will be kept under review.

Preparations for COP26 in 2021 also continue after the climate summit was postponed for one year due to coronavirus, while the CCC's statutory assessment of the UK's progress in reducing emissions will go ahead as normal.

The committee also announced that the UK government's former chief climate negotiator Pete Betts will offer advice to the CCC on COP26 preparations.

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Pete Betts to our team,“ Stark said. “His insight will be invaluable to the committee in the run-up to the most important summit on climate change since the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015.“

Image credit: iStock

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