IEMA has welcomed today’s Climate Change Committee’s 2021 progress report to Parliament, recognising the urgency of taking climate action and concern over strategy delays. As the gap between what is needed to adapt and mitigate climate change grows in terms of policy intervention and delivery, so we become more vulnerable and the costs of tackling the challenge will increase.

In the run up to COP26, the UK needs a rapid re-set to bring UK policy and investment in line with the risks we face and to show true climate leadership. The Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was a high-level statement of ambition, but as the CCC point out, it has yet to be backed with firm policies. A Net Zero Strategy, mapping out a pathway to 2050 with credible near-term milestones, is urgently required.

IEMA’s Director of Policy and External Affairs, Martin Baxter said:

“As the gap between what is needed to adapt and mitigate climate change diverges in terms of policy intervention and delivery, so the UK becomes more vulnerable and the costs of tackling the challenge increase.

Climate ambition without action is meaningless and the UK’s hard-won credibility as a global climate leader is under threat and magnified in the run-up to CoP26. We need a rapid re-set to bring policy and action in line with the risks we face.”

Commenting on the report Nick Blyth, IEMA Climate Change and Energy Policy lead stated that:

“Today’s CCC report demonstrates that the climate emergency needs action at pace. Adaptation and net-zero require strategies to deliver these transitions at the pace required and addressing interdependencies.

Government must publish a coherent strategy for the UK’s economy to reach net zero emissions which should include a clear way forward on developing the ‘green’ skills that will be necessary for its delivery.

The CCC’s report introduces the concept of a Net Zero Test. This is welcome and could ensure that all Government policy, including planning decisions, is compatible with UK climate targets.”