Briefing Note 3: The role and state of the art of independent expert institutions on climate
This Briefing Note presents insights from the third Policymaker Platform of Climate Recon 2050 – a project aiming to facilitate intra-EU exchange and foster the creation of know-how and networks essential to develop effective and ambitious national long-term climate strategies as a tool to guide a successful transition to a low-carbon economy.
Dedicated institutions can play a key part within comprehensive governance frameworks to co-ordinate climate policy within the Government, lead stakeholder engagement activities, or provide independent expert advice. Independent expert institutions aim to provide evidence for climate policy-making based on the latest scientific knowledge. As such, they offer an opportunity to rise above stakeholders’ potentially contrasted views on pathways for the transition, and support evidence-based decision-making. A dozen of climate change expert advisory councils have emerged around the world since the 1990’s. Their number grew significantly around 2015, presumably in expectation of the Paris Agreement and primarily inspired by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
The UK’s CCC, created by the 2008 Climate Change Act, has become the cornerstone of climate governance in the United Kingdom in its first decade. Some characteristics explaining its success include: a clear mandate, close links with Parliament (itself tasked with scrutinising Government’s work), legal obligation of the Government to respond to its recommendations, sufficient resources to produce expertise, which establish its legitimacy and ensure its independence.
Vallejo, L., Rüdinger, A. (2019), Briefing Note 03: The role and state of the art of independent expert institutions on climate, Publication of Climate Recon 2050 project. www.climatedialogue.eu