Committee to monitor net zero plans across Government departments in run up to COP26

The Environmental Audit Committee launches a new workstream focused on the Government’s net zero strategy. The announcement follows the Climate Change Committee’s warning that time is running out for realistic climate commitments.

Setting a new strategic work programme focussed on the Government’s plans and pathway to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the EAC will carefully monitor whether the Government’s strategies are adequate to meet its policy ambitions, and what solutions – if any – can be suggested. With its cross-department remit, the EAC can complement the work of departmental select committees monitoring carbon-intensive departments and activities.

The EAC will be collaborating with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

On 21 July Philip Dunne will chair a cross-Committee evidence session, hearing from the Climate Change Committee on its annual Progress Report to Parliament, issued on 24 June.

Meanwhile, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has recently announced its new inquiry into ‘Net Zero Governance’ which examines the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s leadership role in delivering net zero and how effectively the Department is able to drive co-ordinated action across Whitehall.

Launching the Committee’s new workstream, Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said:

“Earlier this week, the Climate Change Committee warned that time is running out to embed firm policies to make Net Zero Britain a reality. The UK has made much headway in creating a cleaner electricity system over the last decade, but we have a long way to go to clean up transport, industry and our homes and buildings. The Covid crisis has clearly diverted Government from this task. But now we must move beyond warm words: now is the time for policies that deliver strong incentives to cut carbon across the economy.

“The Climate Change Committee is doing an admirable job highlighting the shortcomings of the climate policy being developed in Whitehall, and suggesting fixes before it is too late. Parliament has a key role to play here. Our new work on Mapping the Path to Net Zero, and the work of the BEIS Committee chaired by Darren Jones MP on net zero governance, intends to delve deeply into those areas of Government policy that urgently need to be made fit for a low-carbon future.”

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