Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Climate change: the "citizen's agenda"

Report published

The Committee published ' Climate change: the "citizen's agenda"' , its Eighth Report 2006-07 (HC 88-I), on 13 September 2007.

Oral and Written Evidence (HC 88-II) was also published on 13 September 2007.

The Government Response (HC 189) was published on Tuesday 18 December 2007.

Further oral evidence was taken in this inquiry from the Secretary of State on 20 February 2008. The written evidence includes the Government's 'Follow-up Response' to the Committee's Eighth Report, Session 2006-07, Climate change: the "citizen's agenda".

Extended Terms of Reference (27 November 2006)

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into climate change: the "citizen's agenda" in June 2005. The inquiry is already underway, and is examining actions which individuals can take in their daily lives to help tackle climate change.

Following on from the recently published Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, the Committee has extended the inquiry's terms of reference to include specific consideration of 'green taxes' (please see point 6 in bold, below). The terms of reference otherwise remain unchanged.

Terms of Reference

This inquiry will examine how the ordinary citizen can change his or her lifestyle to minimise the impact of climate change and to mitigate its effects.

The Committee welcomes written evidence on all aspects of how individuals can be encouraged to help tackle climate change, with case studies and examples where relevant. As part of the evidence-gathering for this inquiry, Committee Members will evaluate the opportunities available for citizens to reduce their climate impact.

The Committee invites written evidence on the following points:

1) What is the real scope for individual and local community action to contribute to tackling climate change? Some areas for possible consideration include:

- increasing energy efficiency, in particular the delivery of the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC);

- reducing energy consumption -not only electricity, but also energy used in heating and transportation;

- the provision of desirable low carbon alternatives, such as energy saving lightbulbs or using public transport;

- the potential for, and barriers to, microgeneration;

- the potential for 'smart metering';

- awareness of climate change and availability of information about the role of the individual in tackling the problem.

2) What are the barriers to uptake of climate change mitigation strategies at the level of the individual, and how can they be overcome? Are current incentives such as the energy efficiency commitment or graduated vehicle excise duty sufficiently strong to affect behaviour?

3) How can Government and other agencies -at national, regional and local levels -encourage the uptake of domestic emission reduction measures? What is the role of community projects in schools and other public institutions?

4) What is the role of NGOs in delivering the "citizen's agenda" on climate change?

5) Are Domestic Tradable Quotas (also known as personal carbon allowances) a viable option? What other economic and other incentives for behavioural change might also be considered?

6) To what extent is 'green taxation' an effective driver of behavioural change?

The deadline for original submissions was Friday 1st September 2006. For further submissions relating just to point 6 the deadline was 3 January 2007.

Oral Evidence Sessions

Wednesday 20 February 2008
Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Wednesday 9 May 2007
Friends of the Earth and The Carbon Trust

Wednesday 7 March 2007
Environment Agency; Ian Pearson MP, Minister of State (Climate Change and Environment), Defra

Wednesday 31 January 2007(pm)
(Held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich)
Community Carbon Reduction Programme (CRed)

Wednesday 31 January 2007(am)
(Held at the University of Eaast Anglia, Norwich)
J. Cape, G. Charnock, Dr R. Alexander & J. Borthwick; J. Riley, Dr L. Matthews, B. Butcher & D. Hoffman; H. Deavin, Rev. D. Hares, G. Buckingham & Mrs B. James

Wednesday 24 January 2007
Association for the Conservation of Energy; Centrica, EDF Energy

Wednesday 10 january 2007
Alan Simpson MP

Wednesday 13 December 2006
Dr Dave Reay; Sir David Attenborough

Wednesday 29 November 2006
B&Q, Micropower Council; Energy Retail Association

Wednesday 22 November 2006
Ofgem; Institution of Civil Engineers, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Wednesday 1 November 2006
Global Action Plan, Centre for Sustainable Energy; Richard Starkey, RSA

Wednesday 25 October 2006
Energy Saving Trust; LGA

Press Notices

24/04/08 Oral and written evidence to be published
05/02/08 Evidence session announced
13/09/07 Report published
24/07/07 Report to be published
27/04/07 Further evidence session announced
23/01/07 Further evidence sessions announced
15/01/07 Further evidence session announced
06/12/06 Further evidence sessions announced
29/11/06 Invitation to individuals to give oral evidence
27/11/06 Terms of Reference extended
08/11/06 Further evidence sessions announced
26/10/06 Additional witness and further evidence session
24/10/06 Further evidence session announced
09/10/06 Evidence session announced
15/06/06 New inquiry

Related Inquiries

Climate change: the role of bioenergy (Report and response published - 18 September & 13 December 2006 )

Climate change: international climate policy post-2012 (Inquiry announced)