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Sadly no surprises: CCC Annual Report Launch to Parliament

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On 29 June 2022 Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer, Lizzi Testani, travelled to London with Emma Geen of Bristol Disability Equality Forum and Kirsty Hammond of Heart of BS13 to attend the launch of the Committee on Climate Change’s Annual Report to Parliament for 2022.

At an evening reception held in Westminster, former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate, Ed Miliband MP, chair of the Committee on Climate Change Chair Lord Deben and Chair of the Net Zero all party parliamentary group, Alex Sobel MP reflected on the report, which is highly critical of government’s progress towards its Net Zero ambitions. Sadly, this seems to be no surprise to anyone.

The report calls for climate policy to address the cost of living crisis, the need to maintain momentum following COP26 and the need for government to actively manage risks during delivery – reviewing the efficacy of any new policies (such as the recent Green Grants, which were widely regarded as a policy failure).

This year the report was accompanied by a new CCC monitoring framework – with only 8 of 50 key indicators on track and many of the plans identified as risky or insufficient.

Credibility Assessment Graphic from CCC Report

Key themes across reflections from speakers were:

  • The need for an evolution of government structures and mechanisms to encourage and enable progress across all government departments, rather than just some – BEIS was lauded for its Net Zero progress, whilst DEFRA noted for its lack
  • Delaying action will make it more expensive – estimated that waiting 10 years to act, doubles the cost
  • That government can’t do this alone – there is a need for widespread public engagement, highlighting the benefits of climate action – particularly as many of the actions required for Net Zero are also solutions to the cost of living crises and the role of businesses and innovations
  • Whilst much of the conversation was focused on the economic case for urgent action, Lord Deben closed by reiterating that any challenges we face pale in comparison to the severe impact on countries closer to the equator that are economically poorer than the UK.

With Just Transition emerging a strong theme, Lizzi, Kirsty and Emma took the opportunity to speak to Ed Miliband, Lord Deben and Chris Stark about Bristol’s integrated efforts, work in partnership and the way that businesses and communities are stepping up in Bristol, such as via the Community Climate Action project.

Emma highlighted that governments around the world have been systemically ignoring disabled people when it comes to climate policies and shared details of Bristol Disabilities Equality Forum’s Community Climate Action Plan.

Of the evening, Lizzi said: “The report is frankly damning on the government’s progress, which made for some awkward conversations! But it was exciting to represent Bristol at this launch, share some key learnings on inclusive climate policy and see cross-party representatives discussing recommendations focused on practical action. Let’s hope these are progressed – and in the meantime try not to be distracted from momentum towards Bristol’s work to become a net zero, socially just city where nature and communities thrive!

More information

  • The CCC’s Progress Report to Parliament 2022 can be found here
  • Bristol Community Climate Action Project’s June 2022 insights report can be found here
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