The role and influence of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change


 

This policy brief, based on a longer report (26pp), provides a summary assessment of the role of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in shaping UK climate policy. Established 10 years ago under the 2008 Climate Change Act, the CCC is a central pillar of climate governance in the UK.

The brief summarises the CCC’s organisational features, achievements and lessons on establishing independent climate advisory bodies.

Key messages

  • The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has had a strong influence on UK climate policy. Its analysis is used and trusted by stakeholders on all sides of the debate, and its statutory advice has generally been followed.
  • The CCC has made a material difference to climate policy in terms of objectives (the statutory carbon targets), process (impact on parliamentary debate) and substance (e.g. influencing new laws on energy, infrastructure, housing and water).
  • CCC analysis is used in Parliament to push for greater ambition. CCC analysis often provides a technical justification to political arguments for greater accountability and more ambitious action – both on mitigation (carbon budgets, long-term emissions targets) and adaptation (flood defence spending, climate risk management).
  • The CCC has gained a reputation as an authoritative advisor not only on matters of climate policy, but on climate-smart public policy more generally.

This brief has been produced as part of the Climate change legislation in the UK and Mexico: lessons for climate governance project