The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has set out principles for governments in the UK to follow to ensure a “stronger, clear and more resilient” economy, post COVID-19.
On 6 May, it published letters written to the Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, outlining six key resilience principles to rebuild the UK after the pandemic, including using climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs, and taking a lead to shift towards positive, long-term behaviours. It also called for tackling the wider resilience deficit on climate change, warning that strong policies are needed to reduce the UK’s vulnerability to the destructive risks of climate change and to avoid a disorderly transition o net zero.
The other principles cited by the CCC were embedding fairness as a core principle; ensuring that the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk; and strengthening incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes.
Emerging from these key principles, the CCC set out steps that government can take as a priority, stressing that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change should be “integral” to any recovery package. These included investments in low-carbon and climate resilient infrastructure; supporting reskilling, retraining and research for a net zero, well adapted economy; upgrades to homes to ensure that they are fit for the future; making it easier for people to walk, cycle and work remotely; and tree planting, peatland restoration, green spaces and other green infrastructure.