Latest thinking by the energy and climate department (DECC) over climate change agreements (CCAs) smacks of blue-sky thinking. It has floated ideas not only to reform but even potentially to scrap the instruments. The government should be careful before reinventing this particular wheel.
Last December, DECC organised a closed workshop including representatives of sectors covered by CCAs to discuss their future. It released a report on the meeting last week.
There is general consensus that CCAs need reform. The voluntary agreements to cut emissions now signed with 52 industry sectors have various shortcomings. These include difficulties with monitoring and benchmarking of progress and an uneasy mixture of absolute and relative targets in different agreements. (more…)
The coalition government made great play of the need to cut red tape and costs from new regulation, both before and after the general election. It believes legislation should be periodically reviewed under a sunset clause to make sure it’s worth keeping.
The basic mantra is that any new legislation with cost and time implications will have to be balanced by reductions somewhere else – deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s so-called “One in, one out” principle. New regulations are to be screened by a ‘star chamber’, the Reducing Regulation Committee, headed up by business secretary Vince Cable.
In principle, that sounds like common sense. Business often complains that innovation is stifled by over-complicated, often overlapping and sometimes counterproductive regulations.
But will it really work for environmental measures, such as energy and climate change regulations and taxes? (more…)