Ten years on from the Climate Change Act

christ stark CEO CCC

Recently appointed Climate Change Committee CEO Chris Stark will reflect on the last 10 years successes and put in perspective what the next 10 years will look like during a keynote at EMEX 2018.

Britain’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) welcomes the publication on Monday 08 October 2018 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, according to the report.

“Already it’s clear, however, that the window to keep global temperatures below the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold is narrowing rapidly. We now look forward to a formal request from UK ministers to begin our assessment of the appropriate statutory framework for climate change in the UK, in light of the UK’s obligations under the global Paris Agreement,” Stark said.

Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.

“The report shows that we now risk being stuck between a rock and a hard place if we don’t take the right courses of action,” said Professor Richard Betts, chair in climate impacts at the University of Exeter, in another statement.

“Crucially, the report discusses pathways that aim to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius without making poor and disadvantaged people worse off,” Betts said.

There is however, cause for celebration at the Committee on Climate Change, arguably the most important institution in UK climate change policy. The UK Climate Change Act went through Parliament 10 years ago with cross-party support – marking a political consensus on climate action that has continued ever since and serving as an international template.

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions are 42 % lower today than they were in 1990, and the CCC has been instrumental to this success. As the CCC approaches its 10th birthday it’s clear that a strong, trusted and independent CCC will be essential to stay the course and turn the UK into a climate-resilient, low-carbon economy.

CCC Chair Lord Deben said:

“Chris joins us at an important moment: 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act and the CCC’s 10th birthday. Over the past decade, we have played an important role in advising the government on its carbon targets, ensuring progress towards meeting them and monitoring the UK’s progress in preparing for the impacts of climate change.

 

The next 10 years will be just as important as we continue to provide independent and impartial scrutiny and advice to ministers and parliamentarians on climate change; one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

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