The Climate Change Committee 2021 report to parliament

The Climate Change Committee 2021 report to parliament

The UK Government has made historic climate promises in the past year, for which it deserves credit. However, it has been too slow to follow these with delivery. This past, defining year for the UK’s climate credentials has been marred by uncertainty and therefore delays to a host of new climate strategies. Those that have emerged have too often missed the mark. With every month of inaction, it is harder for the UK to get on track.


Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. To sustain these reductions in emissions the Uk needs sustained Government leadership, underpinned by a strong Net Zero Strategy including the following:

  • A Net Zero Test would ensure that all Government policy, including planning decisions, is compatible with UK climate targets.
  • An ambitious Heat and Buildings Strategy, that works for consumers, is urgently needed.
  • The delayed plans on transport, aviation, hydrogen, biomass and food must be delivered.
  • Plans for the power sector, industrial decarbonisation, the North Sea, peat and energy from waste must be strengthened.
  • The big cross-cutting challenges of public engagement, fair funding and local delivery must be tackled.

    Progress on adaptation

    Only five of 34 sectors assessed have shown notable progress in the past two years, and no sector is yet scoring highly in lowering its level of risk.
    The Climate Change Committee in their recent report provide 50 recommendations, including:

  • Restore 100% of upland peat by 2045, including through a ban on rotational burning.
  • Bring forward proposed plans to address overheating risk in homes through Building Regulations.
  • Make the Government’s next round of Adaptation Reporting mandatory for all infrastructure sectors.
  • Build a strong emergency resilience capability for the UK against climate shocks, learning from the COVID-19 response.
  • Implement a public engagement programme on climate change adaptation.

    Tim Rook, Chief Markets Officer at Clade Engineering said of the report, “it is clear that we cannot reduce carbon emissions from heating sufficiently if we continue to use natural gas or oil to heat our homes and buildings. To reach the UK’s Net Zero 2050 target not only do we need to reduce heating emissions by 95% but we need to do it very quickly. This energy transition takes time to complete as we have to build the supply chain capable of delivering it which means we must start now, delay makes the transition harder and more expensive. Natural gas and inefficient electric heating in buildings can be phased out and replaced by a combination of; insulation, individual heat pumps and district heating. Analysis shows that almost all of the heating and cooling demand can be covered using low carbon sources. In all the scenarios and predictive models, heat pumps have a major role to play as they are the only scalable solution that is available right now.”


    The Climate Change Committee 2021 report to parliament can be found here:



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