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News 24 June 2021

Climate Change Committee’s progress report calls for government strategy to deliver net zero

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has today (Thursday 24 June) published its annual progress report on reducing emissions in the UK.

According to the CCC, lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13%. However, the government’s independent climate advisors expect emissions to rebound this year, as the critical changes and policies needed to sustain emission reductions have not yet happened.

The CCC has called for detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years to get on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050 – the target date set by the UK Government. It has also raised concerns that the UK does not yet have a comprehensive strategy to deliver net zero, with several gaps in government policy.

The UK Government has passed into law the CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget, which sets out a detailed path to reduce emissions in the UK over the next three decades. However, the government is yet to publish key strategies, including the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to provide the detail on how the UK can reach net zero.

The CCC has made 200 policy recommendations in its latest progress report, including:

  • Replace the scrapped Green Homes Grant with a new scheme.
  • Bring forward regulations to ensure all new homes are built to low carbon standards.
  • Support sustained uptake of heat pumps and require all new gas boilers to be hydrogen-ready by 2025.
  • Ensure 150,000 public electric vehicle charge points are in operation by 2025.
  • Develop a public engagement strategy for net zero.

The report notes that there is still time to make progress ahead of the COP26 climate event, which is taking place in Glasgow in November, in the government’s anticipated Net Zero Strategy and the Treasury’s review of spending.

The CCC recommends that the government must be bold and decisive, recognising that a key learning from the Covid-19 pandemic is that people are willing to support change when they have the information they need to make an informed decision.

Access the Climate Change Committee’s full report, or read our detailed analysis of the 2020 progress report, which reflects on what the CCC’s advice means for energy efficiency, heating and transport – as well as implication for each of the devolved nations.

Last updated: 24 June 2021