Climate change

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on climate change. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

DateDescription
23.01.2015Infrastructure Bill: Energy and Climate Change measures
The Infrastrucutre Bill 2014-15 provides a number of new powers and regualtions that relate to energy and climate change. The note provides information on some of these for the Commons Report stage debate.
20.01.2015The weather: Social Indicators page
2014 was the warmest year on record for the UK -what exactly was the weather like over the past 12 months?
01.12.2014Lima Climate Change Conference
The UNFCC conference on climate change will take place in Lima in December 2014. The aim is to agree a gloabl limit on emissions to be agreed in Paris in 2015 and implemented in 2020
11.09.2014Smart meters
Between now and 2020 more than 50 million new 'smart meters' will be rolled out to 30 million homes and smaller businesses in Britain. These are intended to allow consumers to see and adjust in real time what energy they are using. The Public Accounts Committee considers the challenges associated with roll-out 'huge'.
23.07.2014Carbon capture and storage
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) generation is not yet proven on a large scale, and nor is storage long-term, despite a series of UK Government and EU initiatives aimed at incentivising its development. In March 2013 Peterhead (Aberdeenshire) and the White Rose Project (Yorkshire) were named as the two preferred bidders in the latest UK CCS Commercialisation Programme Competition.

Research Papers

DateDescription
11.01.2012Daylight Saving Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Daylight Saving Bill.
06.09.2011Energy Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Energy Bill. It complements Library Research Paper 11/36 (Energy Bill) prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
02.12.2009Climate Change: The Copenhagen Conference
22.10.2008Climate Change Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
Climate Change Bill. (Bill 129 of 2007/08) House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/79.
06.06.2008Climate Change Bill [HL]
(Bill 97 of 2007-08)

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
14.09.2011The impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation....
Government response. Environmental Audit Select Committee; Department for International Development report [Commons]
13.07.2011Committee on Climate Change report and accounts for 2010-11.
Committee on Climate Change report [Commons]
22.06.2011The impact of UK overseas aid on environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation....
Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
27.04.2011Reviews into the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit's e-mails.
Government response. Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]
15.02.2011Emissions performance standards.
Government response. Energy and Climate Change Select Committee; Department of Energy and Climate Change report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
25.10.2011MICRO COMBINED HEAT AND POWER
That this House notes that micro combined heat and power (mCHP) has the potential for significant reductions to household carbon dioxide emissions and fuel bills; further notes that ...
10.10.2011TAIWAN'S PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANISATION AND UN FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
That this House supports Taiwan's continued efforts to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation ...
12.05.2011FOURTH CARBON BUDGET
That this House calls on the Government to accept a level of 1950 megatons for the Fourth Carbon Budget, as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change.
04.05.2011SUSTAINABLE ENERGY (LOCAL PLANS) BILL
That this House believes that it is vitally important to involve local authorities in efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable energy in their area; notes that the Sustainable ...
31.03.2011INDEPENDENT ADVICE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
That this House recalls its decision in 2008 in favour of establishing a Climate Change Act and to accept the views expressed by leaders of all the main political parties in the UK ...

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
13.06.2013Energy Bill (HL Bill 30 of 2013-14)
The Energy Bill is intended to establish a framework for delivering secure, affordable and low-carbon energy. This Library Note provides background information for the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 18 June 2013.
15.10.2012Debate on 18 October: Scott Expedition to Antarctica and Scientific Legacy
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday, 18 October: 'the centenary of the Scott Expedition to Antarctica and of the United Kingdom's enduring scientific legacy and ongoing presence there'.
08.01.2010Debate on 14th January: The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. LLN 2010/001
Debate on 14th January: The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. This Library Note aims to provide background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday 14th January: 'To call attention to the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change' The UN Conference on Climate Change took place in Copenhagen from 7th-19th December 2009. This Note explains the significance of the Conference in the context of previous international agreements on climate change, sets out the major disagreements that marred the negotiating process in Copenhagen and summarises the key elements contained in the final Copenhagen Accord. It considers analysis of the Accord's achievements and shortcomings, and summarises the reactions of key nations and interest groups.

POST Papers

DateDescription
20.01.2015Emissions from Crops
Agriculture contributes 9% of the UK's greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions burden and 10-12% globally. Although there is a long-term declining trend from UK agriculture, the sector may account for a larger share of overall emissions in the future as other sectors reduce emissions. This POSTnote focuses on reducing GHG emissions from growing and storing arable and horticultural crops.
04.11.2014GM Insects and Disease Control
Insects play a critical role in ecosystems, but can also cause economic and social harm by transmitting diseases to humans and livestock, and damaging crops. Genetically modified (GM) insects could be used alongside other approaches to mitigate harms. This POSTnote summarises possible benefits, risks and uncertainties associated with their deployment.
08.10.2014Short Lived Climate Pollutants
Short lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) include black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and ground level ozone. Although they have a shorter residence time in the atmosphere than CO2, from a few days to a few decades, they contribute to near term climate change. This POSTnote summarises options for mitigating SLCP concentrations and the benefits and challenges of doing so.
15.08.2014Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
The UNFCCC REDD+ scheme aims to promote sustainable forest management in developing countries in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Developed countries are expected to provide finance of approximately $20bn per year from 2020. This POSTnote summarises the extent to which REDD+ could contribute to meeting international climate targets, challenges to its implementation and technologies for tracking its performance
29.05.2014Intermittent Electricity Generation
Sources of electricity that exhibit uncontrolled increases or decreases in output are often referred to as intermittent. This POSTnote examines the effect of wind, solar, wave and tidal intermittency on electricity prices, carbon dioxide emissions and the provision of electricity to meet demand. The note also describes measures to manage intermittency.
14.02.2014Ambient Air Quality
National and European regulations have improved UK ambient air quality. However, current air pollution levels continue to harm human health and the environment. This POSTnote summarises the evidence for effects of air pollutants and policies to address them

Glossary

  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses