The Energy and Climate Change Committee has published a report on its priorities for Parliament 2015-20.
The report follows a consultation with the committee’s stakeholders on its Priorities for Holding Government to Account. As part of this process the Committee received 239 written submissions. It invited stakeholders to a roundtable discussion in Parliament and it held an away day to discuss scrutiny priorities over the next five years.
As a result of this work the committee has set three strategic goals for its work over the course of the Parliament:
- To ensure that our scrutiny work on DECC's policies seeks to identify whether all three aspects of the trilemma are being addressed by the Government in a balanced way
- To investigate the potential impact of new and possibly disruptive technologies. We will investigate whether the UK is adequately prepared to deal with the changes that are already happening and will continue to happen, and capitalise on the opportunities that these new technologies will bring
- To use our work programme to influence the Government's long-term approach to meeting climate targets, including by focussing on international action (e.g. the outcome of COP21) and delivering a robust fifth carbon budget and the associated carbon plan.
The evidence has also been used to inform the committee’s programme of inquiries. The UK’s climate change targets (goal 3) will be a priority area of work in 2016, starting with our recently launched inquiry on ‘setting the fifth carbon budget'. The committee is also considering how we can best scrutinise the Government's approach to decarbonising heat and transport.
Energy and Climate Change Committee Chair Angus MacNeil MP:
"We hope that our consultation on our priorities early on in the Parliament has been a valuable opportunity for different groups to engage with the development of our work programme. We’ve set out three long-term goals but we also recognise the need for committees to respond to policy developments and urgent events as priorities emerge and change over the course of the Parliament.
One of the most valuable aspects of select committee work is its evidence-base, and our ability to collect formal evidence and information directly from those most affected by any Government policy decision. To be as effective as possible, we believe that we need to build on this formal engagement and extend it further to include more informal discussions with a broader range of people and organisations."
The Committee sought attendees' feedback after our stakeholder forum and were delighted to hear that stakeholders "were pleased to see the [committee] and its members being so proactive", that the "really effective" event had been "a fantastic opportunity to feel involved in shaping the areas of work for the committee" and "a sensible way to proceed". Over half of the respondents to our feedback survey called for further such events in the future. We are therefore committed to holding another stakeholder forum halfway through this Parliament.