CCC writes to the new Prime Minister

18 Dec 2019 11:59 AM

Link to letter


This is a letter from Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, and Baroness Brown, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, to new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The letter provides the Committee’s assessment of the priorities for the new Government to reduce UK emissions and prepare for climate change.

Government actions in the coming year will define the UK response to the climate crisis. “As host of next year’s UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, the steps we take in the next 12 months will also have a lasting global impact”, the Chairs write. “In this Parliament, the UK must get on track to delivering Net Zero emissions, and adapt to the climate-related changes we are experiencing.”

Key recommendations

Priority actions

Alongside improved climate governance, the letter highlights five key priorities for Government on cutting UK emissions:

The CCC’s recent assessment of UK action to adapt to climate change concluded that the UK is worryingly unprepared for the changes ahead. The Government can act to:

  1. Reduce flood risk. Delivering on the manifesto commitment to increase flood defence spending by £4 billion, but also enabling 200,000 properties that cannot be protected by defences to install property-level flood barriers.
  2. Manage the risks from extreme heat. There is no policy to ensure the risk of overheating is reduced in homes, hospitals, schools or care homes. Building Regulations need to be strengthened to make sure adequate natural cooling (not air-conditioning) is built into properties, alongside energy efficiency.
  3. Reduce the risk of drought. Without further action, water deficits, which are currently negligible, could exceed 3 billion litres per day in the 2050s in England. Water consumption per person needs to fall by 30% to manage this, and supplies need to increase urgently.
  4. Protect the natural environment. Climate change will exacerbate biodiversity loss in the UK and globally. Delivering on manifesto commitments to create a Nature Climate Fund, increase tree planting and restore peatland will help to improve resilience and reduce emissions from land.

Link to letter

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