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.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
10.05.2016Zero Carbon Homes
Proposals for zero carbon homes and the Government's decision not to proceed with the scheme announced in July 2015
06.05.2016UK Fifth Carbon Budget
The Government has to set the UK Fifth Carbon Budget for 2028-2032 by 30 June 2015, and decide whether to follow the advice from the Committee and Climate Change.
05.05.2016Energy Policy Overview
This note provides an overview of the current Government's energy policy.
03.05.2016Renewable Heat Incentive
Details of the scheme introduced to support renewable heat generation
13.04.2016Paris Climate Change Conference
The Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 reached agreement, to be implemented in 2020, to keep global increases in temperature well below 2 C.
13.04.2016Green Investment Bank
The Green Investment Bank was set up by the Government to stimulate investment in green infrastructure in 2012. Privatisation was announced in 2015.
21.03.2016Feed-in Tariffs
Feed-in Tariffs are available as an incentive for small-scale renewables. The Government has completed a Review of the Scheme in December 2015.
10.03.2016British Summer Time
For a number of years there have been calls to change clock times in the UK, so that more daylight would be experienced in the evenings rather than mornings throughout the year. The issue continues to be regularly raised in Parliament. This Briefing Paper provides an overview of the pros and cons of British Summer Time and proposals for further changes to clock times. It also summarises recent legislative attempts to change clock times in the UK.
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
14.01.2016The Energy Bill 2015-16: Background and changes in the Lords
The Energy Bill 2015-16 has been debated and Amended in the House of Lords. This paper provides a summary of those changes along with relevant background information for its debate in the House of Commons.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
26.10.2015Global Action on Climate Change
This short Library Note outlines the recent international discussions on climate change and negotiations for an agreement on the global response. It then briefly summarises the UK Government's policies on adaption to the changing climate.
10.09.2015Sustainable Development Goals: Parliamentary Perspectives
UN member states are expected to agree a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) at a high level summit in New York from 25 to 27 September 2015. This Library Note provides information on issues relating to the SDGs which have attracted parliamentary attention over recent months including the number of goals; universal health coverage; climate change; and implementation and monitoring.
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.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
03.05.2016Carbon Footprint of Heat Generation
Heat Policy takes into account the carbon footprint of different heating technologies. This POSTnote summarises evidence about the carbon footprints of current and emerging heating technologies in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. It then outlines wider considerations for heat policy and broad assessments of the 'best' way to reduce emissions from heating.
05.01.2016Trends in the Environment
Human activities interact with natural systems in complex ways; they can cause long-term damage to systems humans are dependent on. This POSTnote summarises a range of such pressures on the environment. It also identifies a number of trends and their effects on the UK.
16.11.2015Future of Natural Gas in the UK
UK shale gas exploration and efforts to mitigate climate change have stimulated debate about the future of the natural gas sector. This briefing looks at potential future pathways for the sourcing and use of natural gas in the UK. It also considers the implications for the economy, energy prices, the reliability of energy supplies and efforts to cut emissions.
07.09.2015Trends in Energy
Providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is a key issue in UK policy. Energy policy can be informed by current energy sector trends and projections into the future. This briefing outlines key trends in energy, the factors driving these changes and future projections. It also highlights the implications and challenges of these trends.
05.06.2015Trends in Transport
Transport is a key driver of economic growth. It links people to their workplaces and connects businesses. It also affects health, the environment and societal wellbeing. This POSTnote looks at why transport is changing, outlines current trends across and within transport sectors and considers the planning of transport networks.
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.

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 ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses