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The Committee on Climate change: A Policy Analysis

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  • Peter McGregor

    ()
    (Frase of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde)

  • Kim Swales

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Matthew Winning

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

Domestic action on climate change is increasingly important in the light of the difficulties with international agreements and requires a combination of solutions, in terms of institutions and policy instruments. One way of achieving government carbon policy goals may be the creation of an independent body to advise, set or monitor policy. This paper critically assesses the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which was created in 2008 as an independent body to help move the UK towards a low carbon economy. We look at the motivation for its creation in terms of: information provision, advice, monitoring, or policy delegation. In particular we consider its ability to overcome a time inconsistency problem by comparing and contrasting it with another independent body, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. In practice the Committee on Climate Change appears to be the ‘inverse’ of the Monetary Policy Committee, in that it advises on what the policy goal should be rather than being responsible for achieving it. The CCC incorporates both advisory and monitoring functions to inform government and achieve a credible carbon policy over a long time frame. This is a similar framework to that adopted by Stern (2006), but the CCC operates on a continuing basis. We therefore believe the CCC is best viewed as a “Rolling Stern plus†body. There are also concerns as to how binding the budgets actually are and how the budgets interact with other energy policy goals and instruments, such as Renewable Obligation Contracts and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The CCC could potentially be reformed to include: an explicit information provision role; consumption-based accounting of emissions and control of a policy instrument such as a balanced-budget carbon tax.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1031.

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Length: 76 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:1031

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Keywords: Climate change; Carbon policy; Independent body; Time Inconsistency;

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