This is the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) tenth statutory Progress Report to Parliament – an important moment to reflect on the UK's achievements in tackling climate change to date. 2018 also marks the tenth year since the Climate Change Act came into force and, with it, the creation of the CCC as an independent statutory adviser.
Decarbonising electricity generation is the clear achievement of the last decade -a notable success, in line with the Committee's early recommendations, which will underpin a strategy of shifting progressively from fossil fuels to low-carbon electricity. But progress in the power sector masks a marked failure to decarbonise other sectors. In the last five years, this failure has become more acute, as emissions reductions in these sectors have stalled.
Offshore wind deployment exemplifies how clear goals, an ambitious strategy and well-designed mechanisms, can encourage and enable the market to reduce cost and help to build wider economic co-benefits. These lessons should be applied more broadly - to meet the challenges we highlight in this report in transport, industry, buildings and agriculture. It is in the consumer interest to act early and avoid the need for more costly interventions later. There is also potential for economic advantage, in line with the Government's aim to develop industrial and commercial advantage from emissions reduction.
We now enter a new decade of action to address climate change. So far, the governance framework under the Climate Change Act has worked to deliver overall UK emissions reduction, but a much tougher challenge is presented by the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. The formal request from the UK Government to provide advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement on the UK’s long -term emissions targets, announced for later this year, will mark the next phase of the UK's climate leadership.
Additional material includes:
Supplimentary report Analysis of alternative UK hear decarbonsisation pathways by Imperial College London.
Supporting charts and data for each chapter (Chapter 5 - Transport and Chapter 9 Devolved administration are forthcoming)