Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Session 2004-05
1 April 2005

1 April 2005

MPs call for new Minister for climate change

The new post of Minister for Climate Change should be created to ensure that climate change issues are put at the very heart of Government says a new report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA).

Michael Jack MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"Our report reveals that whilst many Government Departments say they are contributing to the objective of dealing with the climate change agenda, not all of them are working together as effectively as they should be to achieve the overall aims of the Government policies in this area.

What is needed is someone with sufficient Ministerial clout to be able to knock heads together and ensure that all Departments are travelling the same road when it comes to dealing with the consequences of climate change. On this occasion a climate change czar won't do, it must be a Minister".

The Government should also use the current review of the UK Climate Change Programme as an opportunity to toughen up measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, say members of the EFRA Committee.

Although the Government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010, the MPs note that forecasts suggest it is badly off track.

The Committee says Government policies should focus on quick and easy gains such as installing insulation and energy-saving light-bulbs, as an excellent way of reducing greenhouse gases and raising public awareness. They add that the importance of such easily implemented measures should be underlined.

Michael Jack MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"It is essential the Government strikes the right balance between controlling the use of power generation and encouraging energy saving practices. At the moment we don't think that balance has been struck. The Government is failing to get to grips with encouraging energy efficiency at the household level. It's a case of too many sticks and not enough carrots."



The Climate change: looking forward report is published on Friday 1 April 2005.