The Climate Change Act has been – and still is – a visionary policy that is extremely important for the directionality that is needed in energy systems change, as well change in other associated sectors such as housing and mobility. This is because companies need policy developments they can foresee and anticipate in order to invest and innovate in green solutions meeting future policy requirements. The binding framework of the Climate Change Act, reaching over electoral cycles, is a crucial enabler of this kind of directionality for innovation. However, we need more than technological change to transition away from a high-carbon energy system. We also need changes in institutions, practices and culture. The Climate Change Act, coupled with the Committee on Climate Change as an independent statutory advisor, has been an important institutional innovation to drive transition to a low-carbon economy. Especially in its early years, the Climate Change Act resulted in a lot of momentum for change in businesses and communities. For example, regarding low energy homes, we have seen business innovation in terms of new cooperatives emerging, established construction companies piloting sustainable construction and new energy services being set up. In turn, cities and communities have seen the emergence of informal networks and the spread of learning on zero carbon new build, whole house retrofits and community energy. These changes were further supported by zero carbon homes and retrofit policies until 2015.
Sussex Energy Group 19th Oct 2018 read more »