Press Notice 1 of Session 2006-07, 1 May 2007

The two Houses of Parliament have established a Joint Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill, which was published by the Government on 13 March 2007 (Cm. 7040). The text of the draft Bill can be found at: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm70/7040/7040.asp

The remit of the Committee is to consider the draft bill, and to report on it to both Houses. The Committee will proceed in the normal manner of Select Committees, by holding hearings and receiving written evidence. The Committee will agree a report making recommendations (to which the Government must respond).


The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Lord Puttnam (Labour), Chairman
Baroness Billingham (Labour)
Earl of Caithness (Conservative)
Lord Crickhowell (Conservative)
Lord Jay of Ewelme (Crossbench)
Lord May of Oxford (Crossbench)
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer (Liberal Democrat)
Earl of Selborne (Conservative)
Lord Teverson (Liberal Democrat)
Lord Vinson (Conservative)
Lord Whitty (Labour)
Lord Woolmer of Leeds (Labour)

Ms Celia Barlow (Labour, Hove)
Mr David Chaytor (Labour, Bury North)
Helen Goodman (Labour, Bishop Auckland)
Nia Griffith (Labour, Llanelli)
David Howarth (Liberal Democrat, Cambridge)
Mr Nick Hurd (Conservative, Ruislip-Northwood)
Mr David Kidney (Labour, Stafford)
Mark Lazarowicz (Labour, Edinburgh North and Leith)
Mr Graham Stuart (Conservative, Beverley and Holderness)
Dr Desmond Turner (Labour, Brighton, Kemptown)
Dr Alan Whitehead (Labour, Southampton Test)
Mr Tim Yeo (Conservative, South Suffolk)

Members' declared interests will be available on the website:


At its first meeting on 25 April 2007, the Committee elected Lord Puttnam as Chairman. The Committee expects to start taking oral evidence in mid May. The programme of such evidence sessions will be announced nearer the time.


The Joint Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the Draft Climate Change Bill. The Committee is working to a very tight timetable set by the Government. Oral evidence has to be taken in May and June. If written evidence is going to influence those sessions it needs to be sent in as soon as possible, and by 25 May at the latest. Submission received after that date will still be considered by the Committee but are bound to have less influence on the inquiry.

Scope of the Committee's inquiry

The Joint Committee expects to concentrate its inquiry on the following themes:

1. What the main aims and purposes of the Bill are and why it is needed.

2. To what degree is it appropriate to legislate regarding carbon targets and budgeting, and how should a balance between compulsory and voluntary action best be achieved and assessed.

3. Whether the omission of the role of local government from the draft Bill will hinder public support for, and engagement with, the aims of the legislation, and what measures should be included in the Bill to secure a change in public behaviour.

4. Whether statutory targets should be set only for carbon dioxide; and the extent to which the proposed 60% emissions reduction by 2050 is adequate, based on the most recent appropriate evidence.

5. What difficulties face the Government in controlling total UK carbon emissions and determining the optimal trajectory towards the 2050 target; and whether a system of 5 year carbon budgets and interim targets represents the most appropriate way of doing so.

6. The extent to which carbon sequestration and the use of credits from overseas investment projects should be permitted; and whether the Bill should specify the maximum amount and type of carbon credits from such sources which should count towards the target.

7. Whether the proposed constitution, remit, powers, and resources of the Committee on Climate Change are appropriate; and the extent to which its function may overlap with, and be partially dependent on, forecasting and analytical activity within departments.

8. The legal consequences of the Government failing to meet the targets set in the Bill, including whether the Secretary of State should be subject to judicial review and, if so, whether it would be an effective enforcement mechanism.

9. How the provisions of the Bill will relate to the devolved parliament and assemblies and their administrations.

10. Whether the provisions of the Bill are compatible or appropriate within the framework of European Union targets.

11.How the contents of the Bill will affect international climate change activity.

12. Whether the delegated powers contained within the Bill are appropriate and adequate.