Office of climate change starts work

Press Releasein Industry News
The Office of Climate Change (OCC) will work across Government to provide a shared resource for analysis and development of climate change policy and strategy, Environment Secretary David Miliband said today.

Mr Miliband was speaking after Ministers met yesterday to agree the new body's scope, role, and an initial work plan.

The OCC will support Ministers as they decide future UK strategy and policy on domestic and international climate change by:
* High level management and reporting of progress on existing
* Consolidating existing analysis to develop a cross-government
consensus on current progress and outstanding issues
* Identifying short and medium term goals for particular sectors/
areas and consequent priorities for action
* Carrying out time-limited policy-focussed projects where Ministers
agree that this adds value
* Promoting understanding of climate change across government and
supporting departments to adapt their policies

Mr Miliband said:

"Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing the UK and the world, and we need to ensure that the action we are taking as a Government is co-ordinated and as effective as possible. The new Office of Climate Change will help us meet that challenge.

"The Office of Climate Change will be a key resource to help us achieve the challenging targets we have set to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050.

"The Office will co-ordinate climate change activity across Government based on sound, objective analysis and drive forward progress on climate change policy and strategy.

"As its first task, we have asked the Office of Climate Change to begin an audit of existing work to develop a clear picture of where we currently stand on climate change and what outstanding issues need to be addressed most urgently, taking as our starting point the Climate Change Programme Review we carried out earlier in the year."

Mr Miliband said that the Office would be staffed by a mix of people from other key Departments, reporting to a Ministerial Board.

"We are bringing together some of the top expertise and analysis from across Government to drive this process, not just within Defra but
throughout Whitehall and beyond," he said.

The OCC will be governed by a Ministerial Board chaired by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and including the Foreign Secretary, Secretaries of State from DCLG, DTI, DfID and DfT, the Financial Secretary, and relevant Ministers of State.

1. The Office of Climate Change will be governed by a Ministerial Board, which is a working subgroup of the Ministerial Committee on Energy and the Environment. An Officials' Board, chaired by Defra's Permanent Secretary and comprising relevant Directors-General from across government, the Chief Micro Economist from the Treasury and a representative from the Office of the Prime Minister, will oversee the day-to-day running of the body.

2. It will be staffed by around 15-18 permanent staff supported by 12-18 staff temporarily recruited for project work.

3. The Office of Climate Change will address international issues but will not be involved in international negotiations or in drawing up negotiation strategies.

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