Edward Hanrahan, Chairman at ClimateCare comments on the Queen’s Speech claiming it is “disappointing, but not surprising, to see no real detail on tackling climate change.”

“We are extremely disappointed to see the Government fail to respond to the growing voices from investment, business and civil society to make meaningful announcements on climate change action in this Queen’s Speech. They needed only to look out the window at the thousands of voters crowding the streets to realise that the time for action is now. This was a great, timely and necessary opportunity for the Government to introduce a climate change bill that delivers a mandatory, economy wide price on carbon that both reflects the true societal cost of carbon, as well as the cost of an equivalent reduction/ abatement to bring us to Net Zero far more quickly than 2050. It would appear that- climate change has once again fallen down the list of priorities. We cannot delay any longer.”

He continues:

“Ambition and rigour are key here. The German Government recently unveiled its comprehensive (but frankly too unambitious) 2030 climate plan, which incorporated a particular focus on transport emissions. Many will be aware that this was immediately criticised for being too lenient. Given the issues this caused for Angela Merkel, one has to wonder if the absence of any detail on climate change was in reaction to this to avoid any potential embarrassment for the UK Government on too weak an ambition? To credibly maintain a position as a leader in emissions reduction, the UK Government will need to implement an effective strategy applied broadly directing private sector carbon finance as a mechanism to meet Government targets. A key opportunity to close existing policy gaps and support an ambitious 2030 vision exists in the land sector, as highlighted by a recent report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC calls for increased mitigation efforts in this sector to include the creation of up to 1.5 million hectares of new woodland by 2050 and the restoration of natural habitats on land released from agriculture. The CCC estimates that this could reduce 20-40 MtCO2e per annum by 2050.

Funding these Natural Climate Solutions through an incentivised domestic carbon market would provide a major contribution to closing the UK’s existing climate mitigation policy gap, at minimal cost to the taxpayer, utilising an approach which can provide additional benefit to local communities, farmers and the natural environment.”

He concludes:

“Obviously, there is a great opportunity to ensure any new Environment and Agriculture Bills integrate the principles of tackling climate change and CO2. A domestic carbon market presents a great opportunity to achieve many of the aims of those bills at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”