In letters to the Prime Minister and First Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has set out six principles to rebuild the nation following the Covid-19 pandemic while delivering a stronger, cleaner and more resilient economy
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change is integral to the UK’s recovery package, the Committee says. Immediate steps are needed to support reskilling, retraining and research, to build a climate-resilient economy.
CCC chairman Lord Deben said, “Covid-19 has shown the importance of planning well for the risks the country faces. Recovery means investing in new jobs, cleaner air and improved health.
“The actions needed to tackle climate change are central to rebuilding our economy. The government must prioritise actions that reduce climate risks and avoid measures that lock-in higher emissions.”
CCC adaptation committee chair Baroness Brown of Cambridge said the pandemic has shown that global risks need global solutions.
“As president of next year’s pivotal COP26 climate summit, the UK now finds itself in a unique position to ramp-up climate action at home and supercharge the international response to climate change abroad,” she said. “The risks we face as a globalised society are now in sharp focus – for their part, UK leaders must act decisively on a climate resilient recovery and do so together.”
The CCC said governments in all UK nations should prioritise actions to recover from the pandemic based on six resilience principles. These include using climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs; leading a shift towards positive, long-term behaviours; tackling the ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change; embedding fairness as a core principle; ensure the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk; and strengthening incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes.
Responding to the CCC’s communication, RenewableUK said, “The CCC’s letter is clear that we need to look at how we rebuild the UK’s economy after the pandemic and help government to meet its net zero emissions target.
“The climate emergency has not gone away. If anything, the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need to make sure our economy is sustainable and resilient in the long-term.
“The CCC highlights that climate investments support economic growth and jobs, and this is precisely what renewable energy companies are doing through investing tens of billions of pounds in new infrastructure.
“This investment boosts local economies all over the country, particularly in coastal communities (which have already benefited significantly from the UK’s adoption of offshore wind) which urgently need new job opportunities. We will be working with ministers to ensure we have the right policies in place to accelerate this investment and deliver net zero.
“Our industry will play a pro-active role in getting the economy back on track as we move out of lockdown. Renewables are a UK-wide opportunity to have a sustainable, forward-looking recovery and to boost productivity across the economy.”
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