Government pledges new net zero governance arrangements

The government has pledged to “establish new governance arrangements to drive forward our efforts across the whole of government to deliver net zero, potentially including a new cabinet sub-committee on climate change”, once the UK has left the EU.

It made the announcement as part of its response to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) reports on the UK’s progress in reducing emissions and on the country’s preparedness for climate change. 

Also as part of the response the government announced that it is developing a Transport Decarbonisation Plan to “bring forward bold new measures to help reduce emissions” and is consulting on minimum energy efficiency standards for commercial buildings.  

Few details have been published relating to what will be in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, except that it would take a “coordinated, cross-modal approach to deliver the transport sector's contribution to our decarbonisation targets". 

On energy efficiency, the government will consult on a “proposed trajectory of EPC Band B by 2030 for minimum energy efficiency standards in non-domestic rented buildings”, which it says currently accounts for “around a third of energy consumption of all non-domestic buildings”. 

This could save businesses £1 billion per year in energy costs by 2030, it claims. “We are also committing to consult in 2020 on introducing mandatory in-use energy performance ratings for non-domestic buildings in the private sector, which will be key to helping businesses to understand and improve the actual energy performance of their buildings,” it said. 

Further details on how the UK intends to make progress towards the net zero target will be set out in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.

In the foreword to the response, energy secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The challenges ahead are immense – but the rewards of action will be greater still. 

“This government has listened to the science and the clear message from across society – and we are redoubling our efforts to drive down emissions while seizing the economic opportunities at hand, as we lead the world towards a cleaner, net zero future.”

Responding to the announcements, CCC chief executive Chris Stark noted that 110 days had passed since the net zero target became law and welcomed the "growing acknowledgement of the need for increased ambition".

Stark said: "There are 13 months until COP26, and new commitments must be made. When it comes to preparing for the effects of climate change, the government’s approach continues to rest on the need for further research and guidance, instead of action; meanwhile, the country remains unprepared for even a 2 degree rise in global temperature. The UK’s role as a genuine climate leader now rests on tangible action – we will be watching next month’s budget closely.”


Related ENDS Compliance Content

  • Climate Change Act 2008

    Climate Change Act 2008

    In force/Current
    England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales
    01 May 2014


    2014-04-28T00:00:00.000Z Amendments to Section 77 and Schedule 6 relating to charges for carrier bags, introduced by the Carrier Bags Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, published.
    2017-02-01T00:00:00.000Z Amending Act (Wales Act 2017) published.
    2019-06-27T00:00:00.000Z Amending Order (SI 2019/1056) published, setting net zero target for 2050.

    Compliance Dates

    26/11/2008 Part 1, 2 and 6 comes into force (Section 100)
    01/01/2009 Section 82 comes into force, 26/01/2009 All provisions come into force, apart from Part 1, 2 and 6; and Sections 71(1), 81 and 82; and Schedule 5, 31/05/2009 Secretary of State must set carbon budgets for 2008-2012, 2013-2017 and 2018-2022 (Section 4), 31/05/2009 Secretary of State to set limit on net amount of carbon units that may be credited to the net UK carbon account for the first budgetary period (Section 11), 30/09/2009 CCC to lay the first annual report before Parliament that assesses the progress towards meeting the carbon budgets and the 2050 target, the progress needed and whether the target and budgets are likely to be met (Section 36)
    01/10/2009 Secretary of State to publish Guidance on the measurement or calculation of GHG emission (Section 80), 26/11/2009 Secretary of State to present the first report to Parliament on the circumstances in which Directions are likely to be given (Section 65), 15/01/2010 Secretary of State to respond to the CCC progress report (Section 37)
    01/12/2010 Report reviewing the contribution of reporting of GHG emissions to the Government’s objectives to be laid before Parliament (Section 84)
    06/04/2012 Secretary of State to make Regulations requiring directors to include information on GHG emissions in their company reports, or to explain why no Regulations have been made (Section 85), 31/12/2012 Secretary of State to set out, by Regulations, the circumstances and extent that the international aviation and shipping emissions are to be included in the carbon budgets and targets, or report to Parliament the reason as to why no Regulations have been made (Section 30), 31/05/2052 Secretary of State to lay before Parliament a report on the final figures for the net UK carbon account in 2050 (Section 20)



    Energy/climate change, Sustainable development


    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors


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