The Climate Change Committee (CCC) have published their Report to Parliament 2022. This provides an annual authoritative independent view of UK progress towards achieving Net Zero by 2050. It is accompanied by a new Monitoring Framework detailing the CCC’s updated approach to tracking real-world progress through several new indicators.
This report marks a change in the CCC approach. There has been an increase in focus on tangible changes in the economy and across society, monitoring key indicators of progress against a new model of change in each sector. Progress is tracked against the Government’s own Net Zero Strategy, but the report also highlights risks to its delivery.
Key messages outlined in the report include;
- The UK Government now has a solid Net Zero strategy in place, but important policy gaps remain.
- Tangible progress is lagging the policy ambition. With an emissions path set for the UK and the Net Zero Strategy published, greater emphasis and focus must be placed on delivery.
- Successful delivery of changes on the ground requires active management of delivery risks. Not all policies will deliver as planned. Some may be more successful than expected, while others will fall behind.
- Action to address the rising cost of living should be aligned with Net Zero. There remains an urgent need for equivalent action to reduce demand for fossil fuels to reduce emissions and limit energy bills.
- Slow progress on wider enablers. The Net Zero Strategy contained warm words on many of the cross-cutting enablers of the transition, but there has been little concrete progress.
- The UK must build on a successful COP26. The UK presidency of the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last November successfully strengthened long-term global ambition and introduced new mechanisms to support delivery. It should prioritise making those new mechanisms work in practice and strengthening global 2030 ambition, while preparing for a focus on climate finance and adaptation at COP27 in 2022 and COP28 in 2023.