Joint Memorandum submitted by the Department
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department
for Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Office of Climate Change
1. The UK is at the forefront of efforts
internationally to tackle climate change. The Government believes
that this is one of the most urgent problems facing the world
and requires action both internationally and domestically.
2. We are determined to provide leadership,
at many levels, to ensure that international agreements on emissions
reductions can be made. We need to do this now, whilst also acting
urgently to reduce emissions domestically, across a range of sectors.
3. As such, the policies that the Government
is pursuing involve many departments, and a complex range of delivery
partners and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
These organisations and the public expect Government to be joined
up in its approach, consistent in policy making, and as open as
possible in discussing and finding solutions to the challenges
4. The Government is determined to deliver
on this expectation. Tackling climate change requires an unprecedented
effort and range of action, not just from government at all levels
but from other organisations and individuals too. This memorandum
responds to those areas highlighted by the Committee's inquiry
press release, but there is a much wider range of action (for
instance in the transport sector or through international diplomacy)
that is not covered in detail here.
5. The Government takes seriously its responsibility
to show leadership and ensure its own policies are well developed
and co-ordinated across all relevant departments. It is important
that we engage with our delivery partners, stakeholders and wider
public to ensure clarity in how we are delivering on our climate
change policies, whether this is in collaboration, in consultation,
in communication strategies, via websites or through publications.
6. As the degree of action required and
the number of organisations within and outside Government contributing
to the climate change programme increases, the Government will
continue to adapt to ensure that policy and programmes are delivered
in a holistic way.
7. As part of this, the Government set up,
in Autumn 2006, the Office of Climate Change (OCC) to support
Ministers and departments on UK strategy and policy on domestic
and international climate change. The OCC is a shared resource
across the six main departments with climate change related responsibilities
(Defra, DTI, DfT, DfID, FCO and CLG), and works closely with HM
Treasury, Cabinet Office and No 10.
8. The OCC has three main functions. First,
running time-limited policy-focussed projects, staffed by a mix
of officials from different departments and run in a manner similar
to other organisations, such as the Prime Minister's Strategy
Unit. To date, the OCC has run projects on the draft Climate Change
Bill, an ongoing project on household emissionshow to address
carbon emissions from households and decarbonising of heat supply,
the future of EU Emissions Trading (particularly Phase 3) and
a small project on aviation offsetting, which fed into the offsetting
guidance issued earlier this year. Second, to consolidate existing
analysis and identify where further work might be needed. The
OCC has already reported on science and there is a publication
on the Defra website which sets out a summary.
9. Third, to review and provide on-going
support for the governance and programme management of climate
change and energy policies across Whitehall.
10. The starting point of the project was
to ensure there was clear responsibility, authority and delivery
across a range of departments. Recognising that achieving the
goals and commitments set out in the 2003 Energy White Paper could
not be achieved by any one government department, and required
close integration across a number of departments and more widely,
the Government at the time created the Sustainable Energy Policy
Network (SEPN). This network of policy units from across government
departments, the devolved administrations, regulators and key
delivery organisations was jointly responsible for delivering
the White Paper. SEPN aligned these organisations for the first
time, but the Government is now going further to introduce governance
arrangements that fully integrate climate change and energy policy
delivery, both domestically and internationally.
11. This has led to the creation of a senior
strategy board to manage the whole of the Government's climate
change and energy policies, recognising that these two policy
streams are inextricably linked. This senior board compliments
the Energy and Environment Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Prime
Minister, which has integrated policy leadership and decision-making
for climate change and energy issues since 2005. Its terms of
reference are "To develop the Government's energy and environmental
policies, to monitor the impact on sustainable development of
the Government's policies, and to consider issues of climate change,
security of supply and affordability of energy."
12. The strategy board is supported by two
new cross-Government programme boards covering domestic energy
& climate change, and international energy & climate change.
This clear governance structure at Ministerial, senior official
and working levels, across all relevant departments, collectively
manages the Government's climate change and energy programmes.
13. Responsibility for delivering key elements
of the programme rests with the relevant departments of state.
Defra, as the key department responsible for climate change, has
overall responsibility within Government for policy co-ordination
and takes the lead on many projects and workstreams, just as DTI
does on energy policy. There is therefore clear accountability,
coupled with collective decision-making and assurance. Delivery
of many policies does, however, require contributions from various
departments and wider delivery partners. The Committee is right
to recognise this fact for various policieshighlighting
energy, housing and procurement as areas that require cross-government
workingand the Government is delivering these policies
in this way.
14. As an example, environmental issues
have been at the heart of energy policy since the 2003 Energy
White Paper made reduction in the level of energy-related carbon
emissions in the UK one of its four goals. Developments since
then, including the Climate Change Programme 2006, the Stern Review,
the Energy Review and the 2007 Energy White Paper have confirmed
and re-emphasised this commitment.
15. As the UK has stepped up its global
leadership role on climate change, and as the energy challenges
highlighted in the 2003 White Paper have increased in urgency,
there has been a great deal of work going on in a number of Government
departments on various aspects of the climate change/energy challenge.
Close working between officials in each department has been crucial.
For example, the impact of the policy measures outlined in the
2006 Climate Change Programme made an important contribution to
the analysis for the Energy Review on progress towards the long
term carbon goals.
16. The Energy Review team and the Stern
Review team worked closely together on the economics of climate
change, sharing analysis on climate change issues including the
future shape and form of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and broad
analysis of competitiveness issues with respect to different policy
interventions. FCO has been active on the international front;
the DfT and CLG have been working on low carbon transport and
low carbon housing respectively; and the Cabinet Office and HM
Treasury have played important co-ordinating roles.
17. This has ensured that the Government
has analysed the various short, medium and long term climate change
and energy policy issues coherently and consistently to make sure
that our policy response is the most appropriate way to address
the challenges we face.
18. In 2006, the Government strengthened
interdepartmental working on energy policy, not only between DTI
and Defra on climate change issues, but with a range of other
departments and in relation to other aspects of energy policy,
such as maintaining security of supply and competitive markets
and addressing fuel poverty. The Energy Review report was prepared
by an interdepartmental team of officials and an interdepartmental
programme board has overseen preparation of the Energy White Paper.
19. Similarly, CLG has made action on climate
change a priority and a key element of housing policy. CLG has
developed a major package of policies on housing and climate action
in the past year, working closely with other Government departments,
delivery bodies (such as English Partnerships) and other stakeholders.
20. These policies include the proposals
that all new homes will be zero carbon by 2016 and this will be
achieved through building regulations; the revised Code for Sustainable
Homes, which will provide a voluntary standard to cover aspects
of sustainable design and construction of a home; and a draft
planning policy statement on climate action. Defra and other government
departments were and will be involved in all of these policy developments.
Public Sector Procurement
21. The Government has also worked to ensure
that there is a common approach to procurement. HM Treasury published
Transforming Government Procurement in January 2007. This
report describes the significant changes to be made in central
Government public procurement to equip the Government with the
capability to deliver ever-improving world class public services
to the taxpayer. It clearly sets out the Government's position,
which is "to ensure that procurement is built on the principles
of value for money and sustainability."
22. Sustainable procurement is good procurement
and that means getting value for moneythat is, buying a
product that is fit for purpose, taking account of the whole-life
costs and benefits. Improving the efficiency of public procurement,
increased sustainability and the release of resources to front
line service delivery contributes to the Government's work in
the CSR; helping to address the long-term challenges presented
by changing demographics, global competition, increasing pressure
on natural resources and climate change.
23. An enhanced role for the Office of Government
Commerce (OGC) is explained, giving it stronger powers to define
the standards required of departments, monitor departments' performance
against them, insist improvements are made where necessary and
demand departmental collaboration where that improves value for
money. To bring about the step change required:
a higher calibre OGC will deliver
the improved standards, focused on driving better value for money
from procurement on a whole life costing basis. The Chief Executive
will become the professional head of the Government Procurement
the Government will focus its
top talent on its most complex and critical procurement projects,
with a GPS that is flexible and able to focus resources where
they can best be deployed;
recognising its importance to
public service delivery and value for money, departments will
strengthen their procurement capability with greater direction
and support from the top;
departments will collaborate
more in the purchase of goods and services common across more
than one department, to get better value for money; and
a new Major Projects Review
Group will ensure that the most important and complex projects
are subject to effective scrutiny at the key stages.
24. This approach was successfully adopted
during the recent procurement exercise for the OGCbuying.solutions
(OGC's executive agency) pan-government energy contract. Defra
and OGC worked together to ensure that the contract offers value
for money on a whole life costing basis, while at the same time
allowing access to energy from renewable sources without charging
a "green premium". This helps departments to deliver
effective public services and also contributes to meeting the
Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets
25. OGC is working with Defra to ensure
that sustainability is addressed as part of good procurement in
key aspects of this work:
the development of the new "Procurement
Policy and Standards Framework" laying out the policies and
standards that departments are expected to meet;
the scrutiny that departments
undergo through Gateway and Procurement Capability Reviews;
the training and support offered
through the relaunched Government Procurement Service (GPS); and
the pan-Government contracts
OGC lets and promotes.
26. The UK Sustainable Procurement Action
Plan (SPAP, published March 2007), like Transforming Government
Procurement, stresses the importance of "mainstreaming"
sustainable procurement within good procurement policy and practice.
This is the most effective way to increase the consideration of
sustainable development issues within procurement. The SPAP strengthens
leadership on sustainable procurement by providing certainty on
the appropriate roles for Defra and OGC.
27. Delivery of the SPAP will be overseen
by Ministers. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs will be the lead minister reporting to the Prime
Minister. The Head of the GPS/Chief Executive of OGC is accountable
for embedding agreed procurement policies through the profession
so that they become part of normal procurement practice from 2007-08.
Defra is responsible for embedding sustainable development in
Government. Both OGC and Defra have key roles in ensuring that
government procurement delivers value for money and is sustainable.
The two departments are working together to drive this agenda.
28. Government recognises that better and
more sustainable procurement can assist departments to achieve
the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets.
For this reason, the SPAP clearly establishes the Government's
sustainable procurement priority as choosing solutions that meet
mandatory environmental standards (the "Quick Wins")
and assist in the achievement of the SOGE targets, particularly
those on reducing carbon emissions, energy and water consumption,
and waste generation. The importance of improved procurement capability
driving better value for money for the delivery of the SOGE targets
is recognised in Transforming Government Procurement and
will be considered when developing material on sustainability
for the Procurement Policy and Standards Framework.
29. In order to ensure good progress is
made on the commitments within the Sustainable Procurement Action
Plan and the SOGE targets, a cross-Departmental board of senior
civil servants (the Sustainable Procurement and Operations Board
or SPOB) oversees both. SPOB's chair is the Permanent Secretary
Champion for Sustainable Procurement, who reports directly to
the Head of the Civil Service on this agenda. OGC, HM Treasury
and Defra are represented on this board and its working groups,
as are a wide range of other departments, including those with
the largest estates and the highest spend.
30. This collaboration over specific policies,
the accountability of our governance structures and cross-government
strategies are features of how the Government manages its PSA
targets. Our priority is to ensure that interdepartmental working
arrangements enable political leadership to be translated into
clear objective and target setting that directs the allocation
of resources, enables effective delivery, draws in external expert
advice and remains accountable to Parliament and the public.
31. PSAs provide a key way of focusing and
driving Government action to address key challenges. As we move
towards CSR07, the approach to PSAs across government will be
different from the previous Spending Round in several ways, notably:
There will be a much smaller
number of PSAsless than a third of the current number;
PSAs will be cross-cutting,
focused on the highest priority outcomes; and are likely to involve
several departments in delivery;
PSAs will be outcome-focused
rather than output-focused;
Each PSA should be underpinned
by one or more key national performance indicators;
With regard to measurement,
these indicators should be outcome-focused; specific, use robust
data subject to quality control, and be sufficiently accurate
and reliable as to enable decision-making; and
PSAs will be accompanied by
delivery agreements showing what different departments, delivery
bodies and stakeholders will contribute to delivering the PSA;
32. The new approach to setting PSAs was
explained in more detail by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, to the Treasury Committee on 30 January
2007. It should further strengthen the framework for addressing
cross cutting issues, like climate change, that require major
policy contributions from a number of departments. Work is ongoing
to develop new PSAs, that will be announced as part of the 2007
Spending Review. These will focus on the highest priorities to
address the government's long-term challenges, which include:
"increasing pressure on natural resources
and the global climate, requiring action by governments, businesses
and individuals to maintain prosperity and improve environmental
International mitigation and adaptation
33. The UK's strategy to achieve its international
objectives is set out in the Climate Change Strategy Framework
and affirmed in Chapter 1 of the Energy White Paper published
on 23 May 2007. The key objectives are to ensure security of energy
supply and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon global economy,
promoting open, competitive
encouraging global investment
in low carbon technologies;
taking action to put a value
on carbon emissions;
promoting policies to improve
building resilience through
managing impacts and encouraging adaptation to unavoidable climate
securing international agreement
to a realistic, robust, durable and fair framework of commitments
for the post-2012 period
34. These objectives are inter-related,
mutually reinforcing and must be pursued in parallel not in sequence.
The challenge is to urgently put in place a framework of mutually
reinforcing policy signals powerful enough to trigger the necessary
investment shift. We must also prioritise action to reduce the
18% of emissions which come from deforestation.
35. The strategy confirms the UK's commitment
to support developing countries to adapt to the unavoidable effects
of climate change. We will do this through funding for development
assistance, access to better information and research on climate
risks and how to ensure their development is resilient to climate
36. This strategy is supported by a work
programme which guides policy co-ordination across Government
and drives the UK's engagement within international negotiations
and across the world. It focuses on those countries with the highest
emissions and those that have the greatest impact on the actions
of others. The delivery of a stable climate, as an essential public
good, is an immediate security, prosperity and moral imperative,
not simply a long-term environmental challenge. We must support
this by continuing to lead by example, using initiatives like
the Energy White Paper and the Climate Change Bill.
37. The Climate Change Programme, prepared
under Article 1 of the UNFCCC, is the UK's key strategy for its
work on tackling climate change. It sets out the UK's approach
to reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the short to
medium term in six broad sectors:
agriculture, forestry and land
the public sector (including
38. It also set out how the Government aims
to encourage a change in individual and collective behaviour that
is fundamental if we are to move to a low carbon economy, as well
as covering our priorities for action internationally and for
adapting to the impacts of climate change.
39. There are also various sectoral strategies
that are included, feed into or flow from the Programme including
the Energy Efficiency Action Plan (currently being reviewed) and
ones on Carbon Abatement Technologies, Combined Heat & Power
(CHP), Microgeneration, transport strategies, Climate Change Communications
and the recently announced Biomass strategy.
40. The results of the Energy Review published
in July 2006 looked to inform decisions about how we can achieve
our two long-term energy challenges of tackling climate change
by reducing carbon dioxide emissions both within the UK and abroad;
and ensuring secure, clean and affordable energy as we become
increasingly dependent on imported fuel. The recently published
Energy White Paper sets out a framework to deliver a secure, low
carbon energy mix for the UK. It announces specific measures that
will ensure individuals, businesses and Government reduce their
carbon emissions and save energy. There has been extensive collaboration
across government in their preparation.
41. This collaboration has been underlined
by the success of the Interdepartmental Analysts Group at ensuring
consistency between different departments, as recognised by the
NAO when it reviewed the use of cost effectiveness analysis, and
demonstrates that the different parts of government can and do
work effectively together. The Energy Review and Energy White
Paper process, for example, used the approach to cost-effectiveness
analysis and the technical guidance developed in the review of
the Climate Change Programme.
42. The Government's strategy for addressing
climate change will be underpinned by the proposed Climate Change
Bill. The draft Bill, subject to Parliamentary approval, will
provide a legal framework to manage future emissions, and form
a fundamental part of the UK's strategy to address the issues
raised by the Stern Review. The Climate Change Strategic Framework,
published by Defra alongside the Bill, sets out the broader context
for the Bill, highlighting some key announcements central to the
Government's strategy for tackling climate changein particular
the Energy White Paper, the Waste Strategy and the Planning White
Paper. And it gives the broader international context, where the
UK will continue to press for action through the EU, the G8 and
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)recognising
that only collective action can ultimately solve this unique global
challenge. In summary, the Bill will:
mke challenging carbon dioxide
reduction targets for 2020 and 2050 legally binding;
introduce a system of "carbon
budgeting" capping emissions over five-year periodswith
three budgets set ahead to help businesses plan and invest with
create a new independent body
to advise on the setting of carbon budgets and to report on progress;
contain enabling powers to make
future policies to control emissions quicker and easier to introduce;
introduce a new system of Government
reporting to Parliament including on climate change adaptation
Domestic adaptation to unavoidable climate change
43. The Climate Change Programme also sets
out the UK's strategy to adapt to unavoidable climate change.
One of the key tenets of our approach is the development of a
climate change Adaptation Policy Framework (APF), which will set
out the appropriate responsibilities and activities across a range
of organisations in a sector by sector approach.
44. Once in place, the APF will provide
the structure in which adaptation strategies can be integrated
into policies developed by organisations at every level of decision
making. Not only will the APF set out a rational structure for
different roles and activities in adaptation, it will also be
a primary information source for those involved in policy development
and provide an indication of priorities for the private sector.
45. To inform the development of domestic
adaptation policy, Defra funds a range of research on impacts
and adaptation. Defra also funds the UK Climate Impacts Programme
(UKCIP) which acts to help prepare organisations for the impacts
of climate change. UKCIP coordinates research and provides information
and guidance to decision makers, including a range of online tools
to inform the development of adaptation strategies. UKCIP and
Defra are currently working with the Met Office Hadley Centre
to update the current set of UK Climate Change Scenarios for the
UK. The new scenarios will be published in 2008 and will be instrumental
to studies on climate change impacts and for decision making on
how to adapt to climate change.
Effectiveness of UK's international strategy
46. The UK is global leader on climate change
and, although it is difficult to formally evaluate international
influence, we can point to solid and substantial recent achievements.
The Spring European Council showed significant developments at
the European level and real leadership by the EUwith the
UK as a crucial player. The EU committed to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions by 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 as part of an international
agreement and agreed an independent commitment to cut emissions
by at least 20% by 2020.
47. In the G8, we have seen recent Presidencies
and Summits build on our climate change objectives, which we began
to set out at Gleneagles in 2005. The United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change made progress at Nairobi in 2006,
and we have clear objectives for 2007.
48. There is still a long way to go, and
the UK must maintain its effective global leadership. The cross-departmental
International Climate Change Work Programme is the vehicle for
co-ordinating and managing activity on international climate change.
Led by Defra, it ensures that policies are prioritised and focused
on outcomes, deals with the distribution of information across
government and manages programme risks. It co-ordinates key policy
initiatives on post-2012 future frameworks, investment, technology,
carbon markets, deforestation/land use and adaptation, as well
as embedding our work on international influencing and evidence-building.
Therefore we regularly review the effectiveness of our strategy,
and the outcomes it is achievingwith one recent development
being the new closer governance between climate change and energy
policy issues. We welcome the views of the Committee as we move
Effectiveness of the UK's domestic strategy
49. As a result of this programme of action
we are projected to meet and significantly exceed our Kyoto commitment
and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to about 23% below 1990
levels by 2008-12. We are currently projected to reduce our CO2
emissions by 16.2% by 2010, against a 20% target.
50. Estimates indicate that, without the
policies and measures in the Climate Change Programme greenhouse
gas emissions in 2004 could have been some 15 per cent higher,
rather than almost 15 per cent lower, than base year levels. The
total annual reduction of all greenhouse gases since the base
year is therefore estimated at about 30 per cent of base year
emissions or some 65 million tonnes of carbon in 2004.
51. Critical to the delivery of our climate
change programme, specialist staff are extensively deployed across
Departments in policy development related areas of climate changeincluding
scientists and economists which have between them substantial
expertise in the area. They work closely withand are generally
embedded inthe policy teams responsible for developing
strategies and specific instruments for combating climate change.
52. Because both the science and economics
of climate change is evolving rapidly, professional training and
development is often through in-government and academic seminars:
for example the Stern Review involved economists and scientists
from a wide range of Departments and used a range of fora to debate
and develop its analysis.
53. Specialist resource is already deployed
across and shared by Departments working on climate change. In
particular substantial cross-departmental project work takes place
between DTI, Defra, HM Treasury and DfT; also involving DCLG,
DfID, No 10, CO and FCO, among others, as appropriate. The development
of the Energy White Paper, and work on European Councils and G8
summits are good examples of strong collaborative working between
Departments, including joint peer review of scientific and economic
54. Defra and the OCC are developing best
practice in policy development to ensure that specialist knowledge
and expertise is deployed and presented more consistently within
and between departments. This will help to ensure that expertise
is more readily deployable across Departments to where it is needed;
and will allow easier and more robust peer review.
55. In assessing the desirability of frequent
circulation of specialist staff between roles and departments,
it is important to distinguish between "deep subject knowledge"where
retention of individuals is an important part of an effective
knowledge management system; and analytical expertise which can
be applied effectively across sectors and policy remits. We recognise
the importance of striking the right balance between retaining
experts with deep subject knowledge, and an adequate level of
turnover to ensure that we bring fresh thinking, innovation and
new analytical expertise to the area. Recent recruitment exercises
suggest that we are well placed to recruit world-class experts
to contribute to this field.
56. Importantly, government departments
have no monopoly on expertise and innovation. A critical part
of our approach to developing the evidence base and policy is
through the strong working relationships and networks we seek
to build with experts outside government, in the UK and beyond.
This consistently renews and enriches our thinking.