November 2023 marked the 15th anniversary of the UK’s landmark Climate Change Act (CCA). Since then, the CCA has had major impacts both in the UK and globally. 

The CCA sent strong signals to investors, contributing to power sector decarbonisation. By creating the Climate Change Committee, the CCA introduced a new independent voice into the UK’s Climate Change debate. The Committee’s well-documented impact on the UK climate policy landscape is a major achievement (Averchenkova, Fankhauser and Finnegan, 2021). 

Internationally, the CCA not only provided a key talking point for the UK in climate negotiations and forums, but it also provided inspiration for similar legislation in a wide range of jurisdictions (Averchenkova, Fankhauser and Finnegan 2020), making a significant contribution to the global climate governance landscape.

The Act has also impacted UK Courts. There are now more than 60 legal cases filed in the UK that mention the Act, including the case of Friends of the Earth v Heathrow Ltd, R. (on the application of Cox) v Oil and Gas Authority, and the more recent Friends of the Earth v Secretary of State for BEIS (Net Zero challenge). Such cases have met with varying degrees of success, but there is no doubt that they have had a major impact on decision-making on climate change across the UK. 

Despite these successes, recent months have seen the UK Government backtracking from key climate policy commitments, moving the phase-out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 from 2030, and taking an expansionary approach to fossil fuel investments in the North Sea. In this event, a panel of experts will be asked to reflect on the history of the UK CCA over the last 15 years, and to consider what role it might now play at this pivotal moment for UK climate policy.


  • Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair GRI (Event Chair)
  • Dr Alina Averchenkova, Distinguished Policy Fellow GRI 
  • Lord Robert Carnwath, Visiting Professor in Practice GRI, Former Justice of the UK Supreme Court
  • Lord Deben, member of the House of Lords and former Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change
  • Ruchi Parekh, Barrister at Cornerstone Barristers

How to attend

To join the in person event at LSE please register in advance here

To join the event online please register in advance here

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