Skip to main content

BEIS Committee launches Climate Assembly inquiry call for evidence

19 April 2021

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has today launched a call for evidence for its inquiry to follow up on the proposals of Climate Assembly UK, published in September 2020.

The BEIS Committee's call for evidence [terms of reference included below] focusses on how far the Government, and other stakeholders, have engaged on the findings of the assembly and how far Ministers have made progress in developing the policies and measures which implement the Assembly's proposals.

The Committee's call for evidence is issued ahead of a public evidence hearing with stakeholders and a Government Minister, to take place in the coming months.

Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

Climate Assembly UK produced a ground-breaking report with a clear steer on the path we all need to take to achieve net zero. The Climate Assembly put forward a series of pragmatic principles to inform the decisions we will take, as citizens and as a society, on questions about how we eat and what we buy, to the heating of our homes, and how we conduct business and travel.

The Climate Assembly's report is a unique body of evidence which highlights a degree of consensus on the journey the UK will need to follow to reduce our carbon emissions. The Government needs to take this action forward and map out a just transition that meets the scale of the challenge and seeks the popular consent of the people.

On the BEIS Committee, we are keen to examine how far the Government, and stakeholders, across business, energy, and the environmental sectors and beyond, have engaged with the Climate Assembly report. The Climate Assembly was a call for the Government to lead – in our inquiry, we want to review the progress the Government has made in implementing the Climate Assembly’s proposals".

In addition to this inquiry, the BEIS Committee is undertaking scrutiny of the Climate Assembly proposals within the context of separate inquiries on decarbonising heat in homes and on net-zero and the COP26 UN climate conference. The Committee is also likely to consider Climate Assembly proposals in its future work relating to net zero and the green recovery and during the course of the post-pandemic economic growth inquiry.

Climate Assembly UK was commissioned jointly by six select committees, including the BEIS Committee, in the 2017-19 Parliament to inform the House and Government on potential pathways to achieving the statutory target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Climate Assembly – inquiry terms of reference

The Committee welcomes evidence submissions on the terms of reference outlined below. The closing date for submissions [here] is 10 May 2020.

  1. Has Climate Assembly UK (both its process and recommendations) been helpful to your work (or the work of your organisation), and if so, how?
  2. What impact has Climate Assembly UK had across your sector, and more widely?
  3. How do you perceive Climate Assembly UK to have affected the work of Government since the Assembly’s report was published (10 September 2020)? To what extent do the Government’s actions since then reflect Climate Assembly UK’s recommendations?
  4. What would a good response to Climate Assembly UK from the Government look like? What would a good response from Parliament look like?

Background – BEIS Committee work relating to emissions trading, climate change, 'net zero', COP 26, and the Climate Assembly

The BEIS Committee was one of six select committees of the House of Commons (joining Environmental Audit; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Science and Technology; Transport; and Treasury) to support Climate Assembly UK, a citizens' assembly on combatting climate change and achieving the pathway to net zero carbon emissions.

Darren Jones, BEIS Committee Chair, welcomed Climate Assembly UK's final report published in September, in the House of Commons. The Climate Assembly final report set out a clear, internally consistent and timely path for how the UK can reach its legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050. Climate Assembly UK’s report showed how a representative sample of the population believe the UK should meet its net zero emissions commitment with detailed recommendations across ten areas including: how we travel; what we eat and how we use the land; what we buy; heat and energy use in the home; how we generate our electricity; and greenhouse gas removals.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is currently undertaking an inquiry examining the path to decarbonising heating in homes. The Committee’s inquiry on decarbonising heat followed a successful pitch by Dr Jan Rosenow, Principal and European Programme Director, Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), at the Committee’s "MyBEIS" evidence hearing in July and is part of the BEIS Committee’s ongoing work on net zero and its follow-up to the findings of the Climate Assembly.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee is leading the Parliamentary scrutiny of COP 26 has a standing inquiry for the Parliament on the UK’s 'Net Zero' target and the UN Climate Summits and in this Parliament has held sessions examining the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) 2020 Progress Report & the Climate Assembly UK Interim Report.

The BEIS Committee inquiry on the UK 'Net Zero' target and the UN Climate Summits inquiry is considering issues including:

  • Progress in delivering the UK's 2050 net zero target;
  • Progress in cutting emissions to meet the UK’s five-yearly Carbon Budgets;
  • The role of BEIS in leading climate change mitigation policy across Government;
  • The potential role of business and industry in the net zero agenda;
  • Preparations for the 2021 Climate Summit in Glasgow, and the UK's performance as Summit host;
  • The ongoing role of the UK in international climate talks and initiatives to tackle climate change.

In a separate but related inquiry, launched in June, on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth the BEIS Committee will be looking at the options available to Government to secure our economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19; covering investment, industrial strategy, jobs, skills, exports and sustainable growth.

Over the last year, the BEIS Committee held evidence sessions looking at the future of carbon pricing and UK arrangements for an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Further information

Image: unsplash