The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has addressed the Prime Minister, urging him to drive action to tackle the climate emergency. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the CCC has provided their assessment of the priorities for the new Government to reduce UK emissions and prepare for climate change.

The letter highlights the urgency of the climate emergency, saying; “As host of next year’s UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, the steps we take in the next 12 months will also have a lasting global impact. In this Parliament, the UK must get on track to delivering Net Zero emissions and adapt to the climate-related changes we are experiencing.”

The letter, written by Lord Deben and Baroness Brown, has listed the five key priorities for cutting the UK’s emissions as; buildings, transport, electricity, Industry and Land use and agriculture.

For transport, one of the biggest contributers of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, the letter states there must be rapid progress in committing to a new target to phase out all petrol and diesel cars, the CCC recommend a goal of 2030.

For land use and agriculture, the letter says the Government must introducing a world-leading package through the Agriculture and Environment Bills to cut emissions from agriculture and to pay for the 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of annual tree planting promised in their manifesto.

The letter also highlights the importance of reducing flood risk. They warn that there has been a 20% increase in the paving-over of urban areas since 2001, increasing the risk of flash flooding. Planning policy needs to change to mandate natural features that absorb rainfall in new building developments.

They urge the Government to keep their manifesto commitment to increase flood defence spending by £4 billion, but also enabling 200,000 properties that cannot be protected by defences to install property-level flood barriers.

Read the Committee on Climate Change’s letter in full here.