The Committee on Climate Change has its offices in Holbein Place just off Sloane Square and has a budget of £4.4 million all from the taxpayer (up from £4.3 million under Labour when Ed Miliband was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.) It has a board of veteran Quangocrats.
Judging by their latest report this is a ludicrous waste of public money. It is banal document urging local authorities to try harder to meet carbon emission targets.
It doesn't matter what your view is about climate change or of the various recommendations in the report. I can't see the document being of practical benefit to any local council.
The CCC wants councils to approve more wind farms:
There is an opportunity for local authorities to support power sector decarbonisation through the granting of planning approval to onshore wind generation projects. A significant proportion of onshore wind projects required to meet 2020 renewable energy targets and carbon budgets are likely to go through local planning processes. It will be important that future planning decisions at the local level objectively balance national priorities with local impacts.
I'm with the Duke of Edinburgh in regarding wind farms as "absolutely useless." Others may agree with them. But is any council really likely to approve them in deference to the predictable views of the CCC?
Regarding the reduction of street lighting the report says:
Street lighting. Emissions can be reduced through several options including the dimming of lights at night, switching off during certain hours and the use of low energy lighting (e.g. LEDs). Leicestershire County Council has been using some of these measures as part of a four year programme to cut emissions from street lighting by 25% (3,000 tCO2 a year) by 2014
Councils themselves are responsible for 1% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Of this a significant proportion is street lighting (18% in Leicestershire.)
I agree with reducing street lighting for various reasons and the case has been strengthened by the initial evidence that reducing it has not increased crime as feared.
But does the CCC think that councils won't already have thought of it? What the CCC will be unfamiliar with, is the process whereby those facing a reduction in their budget, review their spending to identify savings. So, of course, that would include looking at whether the level of street lighting is necessary or even beneficial.
Councils have coped with sharp cuts in central Government grants. Yet we are seeing more money poured into an outfit that tells us things we already know.