CCC outlines six principles for rebuilding UK economy

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has today written to the prime minister outlining six key principles for rebuilding the UK economy once the coronavirus crisis has passed.

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The letter outlines how reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change must be integral to the UK’s recovery package, delivering a stronger, cleaner and more resilient economy.

It explains how immediate steps are needed to support reskilling, retraining and research in order to build a climate-resilient economy, scale-up housing retrofits, and build new homes that are “fit for the future”.

The CCC also urges the government to invest in low-carbon and resilient projects such as improved broadband, instead of new roads, to make it easy for people to work remotely, walk and cycle, and to expand tree planting, peatland restoration, green spaces and green infrastructure.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of planning well for the risks the country faces,” said CCC chairman Lord Deben. “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.”

Letters were also sent to first ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The CCC's six principles for coronavirus recovery include:

1) Using climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs
2) Leading a shift towards positive, long-term behaviours, such as actions to support home-working, remote medical consultations and improve safety for cyclists
3) Tackling the wider ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change
4) Embedding fairness as a core principle so lost or threatened jobs are replaced by those created by the new, resilient economy
5) Ensuring the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk, with support for carbon-intensive sectors contingent on them taking lasting action on climate change
6) Strengthening incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes, for example, revenue could be raised by setting or raising carbon prices for sectors of the economy which do not bear the full costs of emitting greenhouse gases.

Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, said: “This 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.” 

 

Image credit: iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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