Press releases

CCC Report shows UK government backsliding on climate change action

This picture shows the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps, visiting an international airshow back in July 2022.
The UK Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps, visited an international airshow back in July 2022. Photo by UK Government on flickr.
  • The UK government’s ability to meet its 2030 climate change targets has deteriorated in the last year, according to the latest assessment by its official advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC).  
  • In its most stinging report to date, the Committee’s outgoing Chairman, Lord Deben, accused the government of a lack of leadership that is keeping energy bills high and squandering the opportunity to lead the race in building the clean technologies of the future.

Overall Assessment

Ed Matthew, Campaigns Director at E3G said:

“This report is a damning indictment showing that in every economic sector, the UK government is off track to meet its 2030 climate change targets.

The energy crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine was an opportunity to bolster our energy security by doubling down on cheap renewable power and slashing energy demand. Instead, the Committee has found that the government has no master plan to decarbonise the power system, has blocked some of the cheapest renewable energy projects and the number of homes being insulated has crashed.

The abject failure of this government to deliver meaningful action on net zero leaves UK citizens poorer, our economy weaker and its reputation for climate leadership in tatters.”

Ed Matthew, expert in UK climate change policy and politics 
+44 (0) 7827 157906,   

Green Homes

On home heating, Colm Britchfield, Policy Advisor at E3G said:

The report has issued a red alert to the government over its slow rollout of heat pumps – the crucial solution to move our homes off polluting fossil gas. Continuing to entertain the scientifically and economically incoherent idea of using hydrogen at scale to heat our homes is now officially holding back progress to net zero. Grant Shapps has already admitted that hydrogen is unlikely to be a major source of domestic heating – the government now needs to take the CCC’s advice to ‘embrace electrification as the default solution for buildings’ and rule out hydrogen, to get investment going in the solutions that really work.” 

Colm Britchfield, expert in green homes 
+44 (0) 7542 865 564, 

On energy efficiency, Juliet Phillips, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G said:

“While the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip the UK, the government has quietly allowed its major fuel poverty relief programme to tank. The number of energy efficiency improvements installed under the ECO scheme has fallen off a cliff in the past year, meaning that hundreds of thousands of eligible households will be exposed to sky-high bills this winter. Skilled installers are now turning away from ECO as they lose faith in yet another botched scheme. Today’s report sounds the alarm for an urgent rethink of how we upgrade the UK’s cold and leaky housing stock, working with delivery partners to turn ambition into action.” 

Juliet Phillips, expert in UK energy systems 
+44 (0) 7548 097 061,  

Green Industry

Johanna Lehne, Programme Leader at E3G said:

“As the rest of the world competes to capture growth markets in green industries, the CCC has issued a clear warning that the UK risks falling further behind. Instead of investing in a future-proofed greener UK steel sector, the decision to open a coal mine in Cumbria sends the opposite signal, indicating that the government is banking on a coal-based future for the sector.  

With decisive action to decarbonise the grid, the UK could put electrification at the core of its industrial strategy. But with no coherent plan to do so, the UK is at risk of losing competitive advantage as other countries forge ahead. It is a recipe for industrial failure.”

Johanna Lehne, green industry expert  
+44 (0) 770 848 6383,  

Green Finance

Heather McKay, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G said:

“The UK is in a global race for net zero, and the CCC’s latest assessment doesn’t bet on the UK to win. Despite welcome progress made by the 2023 Green Finance Strategy, business and investors are still lacking the strong signals and incentives they need to transform their net zero investment appetite into opportunities on the ground.  


The Autumn Statement must answer calls from a growing body of investors representing over $3 trillion assets under management by announcing a full Net Zero Investment Plan, underpinned with a mechanism to track financial flows. Only then will the UK be able to ‘keep pace with competitors in the global race’ to develop green industries and deliver growth.”  

Heather McKay, expert on UK sustainable finance 
+44 (0) 7707 275 359,  

Energy Charter Treaty

Jonny Peters, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G said:

“The CCC could not have been clearer in their call for the UK to leave the Energy Charter Treaty. This is a landmark recommendation from the Committee. It directly builds on the French Climate Committee’s decisive analysis that was instrumental to the French government’s decision to leave the Treaty last year.  


The UK should announce its intention to leave the Energy Charter Treaty ahead of COP28. Working with like-minded countries already leaving the Treaty, such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands, the UK can coordinate an orderly withdrawal that puts an end to fossil fuel companies being able to sue governments for legitimate climate policies. The longer the UK delays this decision, the longer the legal risks will grow.”

Jonny Peters, expert covering trade and climate at E3G 
+44 (0) 7954 201 039, 

Notes to Editors 

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G
  2. For further enquiries email or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863 


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