Climate Action

CCC to amend 2020 work programme in light of coronavirus

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has announced plans to amend its advisory reports and offer advice to ministers on building a climate resilient coronavirus recovery in line with the UK’s 2050 net zero target.

  • 16 April 2020
  • Camilla Watkiss

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has announced plans to amend its advisory reports and offer advice to ministers on building a climate resilient coronavirus recovery in line with the UK’s 2050 net zero target. 

Its current reports, due for publication over the next 12 months, will now be amended to account for responses to the coronavirus pandemic, with a report on the UK's sixth carbon budget pushed back to December rather than September. The advisory body confirmed that it would consider the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis and subsequent national lockdown on the UK’s climate goals, with a revised 2020 work programme. 

The CCC’s annual progress report to Parliament in June will feature rebuilding efforts for the economy and production in a way that supports a “just” transition towards net-zero emissions while strengthening the UK’s preparedness for the escalating impacts of climate change. The body said it would be writing to ministers "in the coming weeks" to set out its initial advice. 

The CCC’s Chief Executive, Chris Stark, said: “Responding to the pandemic is, rightly, the immediate priority for everyone. Eventually, thoughts will turn to the need to rebuild after coronavirus - the climate priorities can help shape these efforts. The Committee will offer advice to the Government on constructing a resilient recovery. Coronavirus is teaching us all the value of prudent planning for global shocks.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Pete Betts to our team. His insight will be invaluable to the Committee in the run-up to the most important summit on climate change since the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015.”

Pete Betts is the UK government's former chief climate negotiator and will help to offer expert advice ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, which was due to take place in November but has now been pushed back until 2021. Betts has 16 past UN climate summits under his belt and also worked as lead climate negotiator for the EU for six years, including at the historic COP21 summit which delivered the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Ministers have stressed that they do remain fully committed to the net zero goal. However, there is now growing concern that new climate policies could be delayed as the government focuses all its attention on tackling the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent economic recovery. 


To find out more about how Covid-19 could shape or break our ability to address the climate emergency in 2020, join Climate Action in our webinar led by a global panel of sustainability professionals, health leaders and environmental policy experts. Find out more by clicking here.