Climate Change and Energy
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Terms of Reference
The Climate Change and Energy Working Party (CCEWP) seeks to influence and improve laws aimed at tackling climate change and promoting renewable energy. Our key priority areas currently are:
- The legal aspects of the implementation of the Climate Change Act 2008, particularly carbon budgets, the Climate Change Committee and the role of regulation in progressing towards targets
- Low carbon energy investment support, under the Electricity Market Reform, Feed-in Tariffs, Renewables Obligation, Renewable Heat Incentive and other instruments
- Energy efficiency policy, including the CRC energy efficiency scheme, particularly the regulatory and enforcement aspects and Climate Change Agreements
- Corporate reporting on carbon - what does this mean for business?
- Carbon capture and storage -watching brief
Given the broad scope of this area, our activities go beyond pure 'environment law' and into consideration of the policy behind the legislation (in particular, in relation to the carbon markets, emissions trading, energy security and broader energy market regulation). The input and assistance of specialists in other areas (e.g. financial services, tax) is also therefore welcomed.
Contact the convenors if you would like to join the group.
Join the Climate Change & Energy WP at the Annual Conference for their lunchtime session. Find out more on our website.
Recent Events and Activities
The WP held a very successful and topical seminar looking at Climate Change Litigation and the Right to Protest on Wednesday 6 November 2019. Expert speakers were Stephen Hockman QC, Six Pump Court, Zion Lights from Extinction Rebellion and Anna Dews, Associate Solicitor at Leigh Day.
The CCEWP took an active interest in the implications of Brexit for climate change and energy law in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union. In August and September 2016 they submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee's inquiries into the implications for UK climate and energy policy on leaving the EU (available below, under Consultation Responses). Our Brexit page gives links to other papers and submissions that the group has produced or contributed to.
Paris COP21 climate conference
The CCEWP held a seminar jointly with the Government Legal Service Environment Group on the Paris COP21 climate conference, on 21 March 2016. The event gave the inside line on the negotiations from those that were present, together with an analysis of key provisions of the Paris Agreement, and what it means for carbon markets and renewables. It was chaired by the group's convenor Stephen Hockman QC and the speakers were:
Caroline Ross, lawyer at the Department of Energy and Climate Change
- Christoph Schwarte, Executive Director Legal Response Initiative
- Francesco Sindico, Reader in International Environmental Law, University of Strathclyde
- Melanie Shanker, Managing Associate, Linklaters
The group also heard from Fran Lawson, barrister at 6 Pump Court Chambers, about COP21 and the Paris Agreement in the working party session at UKELA's annual conference in Brighton in July 2016.
The CCEWP is following issues around air pollution, in particular implementation of the EU Air Quality Framework Directive. The group heard about the London Air Quality case from Alan Andrews, lawyer at Client Earth, at UKELA's annual conference in Brighton in July 2016.
Onshore Oil & Gas Sector Regulation and Guidance
On 9 February 2016 members of the Climate Change and Energy Working Party attended a special presentation about regulation of onshore oil and gas, given by Mark Ellis-Jones of the Environment Agency. The event, held at King & Wood Mallesons, included a Q&A session on the Environment Agency's draft Guidance, which was the subject of an open consultation. UKELA submitted a formal written response to the consultation in March, available below (under 'Consultation Responses'). You can read the Agency's summary of all consultation responses here.
The Environment Agency issued finalised guidance in August 2016. It is available to view on Gov.UK here.
>House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee inquiry on the implications for energy policy of leaving the EU: written submissions, September 2016
>House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee inquiry on the implications for climate policy of leaving the EU: written submissions, August 2016
>Onshore Oil and Gas Sector Guidance: response to Environment Agency consultation, March 2016