The committee, which will be chaired by Lord Puttnam (Labour), will act in the normal manner of select committees and hold hearings and receive written evidence. It will then issue a report with recommendations, to which the government must respond.
A second inquiry into the Bill will be conducted by the House of Commons Environment Committee, examining issues such as CO2 emissions targets, the rationale for a five-yearly budgetary period, use of carbon credits to meet targets and the role of the Committee on Climate Change.
Meanwhile, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has announced a new inquiry into how cross-departmental activity is addressing climate change. It will examine areas such as procurement, housing and energy for evidence of fragmented leadership or policy-making, as well as cross-departmental strategies.
The committee is also holding inquiries on carbon offsetting and the government’s evaluation of the climate change programme.
Another inquiry, into implementation of the EU environmental liability Directive, has been launched by the Commons Environment Committee.
The Directive was adopted in April 2004 and member states were supposed to transpose it into national law by April 2007 - but the Environment Department (DEFRA) has yet to issue draft regulations for consultation (ENDS Report 383, pp 41-42 ).
The Committee will hold a single evidence session on 6 June with Environment Minister Ian Pearson to find out why DEFRA has taken so long to consult on the Directive and what discretion member states have in its implementation.
It will also examine the reasons for DEFRA seeking to apply the "permit" and "state of knowledge" defences, and why it is proposing to limit the Directive’s scope to EU-protected biodiversity.
A fifth new inquiry, into waste collections, will be held by the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee.
It will examine how the timing of and technology used in collections can help waste minimisation; the potential for cooperation between authorities; and how collection can help recycling. It will also assess the implications of variable charging and how it can help minimise household and commercial waste.