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A review of the role and remit of the committee on climate change

McGregor, Peter and Swales, Kim and Winning, Matthew (2012) A review of the role and remit of the committee on climate change. Energy Policy, 41. pp. 466-473. ISSN 0301-4215

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Abstract

Domestic action on climate change requires a combination of solutions, in terms of institutions and policy instruments. One way of achieving government carbon policy goals may be the creation of an independent body to advise on, set, or monitor policy. This paper critically assesses the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which was created in 2008 as an independent body to help move the UK towards a low-carbon economy. We look at the motivation for its creation. In particular we consider its ability to overcome a time-inconsistency problem by comparing it to another independent body, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. In practice the CCC appears to be the ‘inverse’ of the Monetary Policy Committee, in that it advises on what the policy goal should be rather than being held responsible for achieving it. The CCC incorporates both advisory and monitoring functions to inform government and achieve a credible carbon policy over a long time frame. This is a similar framework to that adopted by Stern (2006), but the CCC operates on a continuing basis and also incorporates a unique climate change monitoring function.