Committee on Climate Change
The Committee on Climate Change was established under the Climate Change Act 2008. Its duties are to report to Parliament regarding the government's progress in meeting the Act's legally binding carbon budgets. It is responsible to the Department of Energy and Climate Change and National Authorities of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The first progress report from the CCC was due to be published in September 2009.
See Framework Document .
Position on shale gas exploration in the UK
The CCC has a long-standing opposition to growth in the gas sector.
- ...well regulated production of shale gas could have economic benefits to the UK, in a manner consistent with our emissions targets, while reducing our dependence on imported gas."However, a dash for gas in the power sector is not necessary to realise any potential benefits [for the economy and climate], nor is it desirable given the importance of power sector decarbonization.
- 'Although several reports and papers, including some from the UK government and its agencies, state fracking would be safe assuming there is or will be industry best practice and ‘robust’ regulation, the evidence base for such statements is remarkably sparse [...].
- There are multiple serious challenges surrounding location, scale, monitoring and data deficits facing regulators overseeing onshore UGE and fracking in the UK;
- The evidence from peer-reviewed papers suggests fracking in the UK will not be effectively regulated. It is highly likely that regulatory agencies may lack the staffing and resources necessary to monitor and enforce effective regulation of the industry;
- US and UK peer-reviewed analyses and EU law identify both the precautionary principle and prevention as keys to dealing with fracking. This is underpinned by findings from the peer-reviewed public health literature that already identifies significant hazards and major potential risks from the industry.'
2016 Report on shale gas climate change impacts
The Committee published its report on the impact shale gas could have on climate change in November 2016.
The full summary they gave:
- 'The Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) overall assessment is that if exploitation of UOG is to be pursued, it requires that a strong regulatory framework is put in place. Exploiting UOG on a significant scale is only compatible with Scotland’s climate change targets if (a) Emissions are limited through tight regulation, (b) Scottish UOG production displaces imports, rather than increasing domestic consumption, and (c) Emissions from production of UOG are offset through reductions in emissions elsewhere in the Scottish economy. In terms of potential implications for global emissions, the report found that the overall emissions footprint of Scottish UOG, if tightly regulated, is likely to be broadly similar to that of imported gas and that initial evidence suggests that tightly regulated shale gas production is likely to have a broadly neutral impact on global emissions, with emissions savings due to switching from higher-carbon fossil fuels approximately offsetting emissions increases due to increased use of unabated gas.' 
- Andrew Watterson and William Dinan, A RAPID EVIDENCE ASSESSMENT OF REGULATION AND REGULATORY PRACTICES INVOLVED IN FRACKING AND ITS PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS, Regulating Scotland, accessed 16 December 2016.
- Unconventional oil and gas research published, Wired Gov, 09 November 2016. Accessed 15 December 2016.