Johnson chairs first climate cabinet committee

| 4th March 2020
Zac Goldsmith & Boris Johnson on a walk about in Richmond, April 10, 2012. Photo: By Andrew Parsons / i-Images via Flickr.com.
Zac Goldsmith & Boris Johnson on a walk about in Richmond, April 10, 2012. Photo: By Andrew Parsons / i-Images via Flickr.com.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove are among the permanent members of the committee.

The cabinet sub-committee on climate that you promised to chair, and which I was to attend, has not met once.

Boris Johnson will chair the first meeting of the cabinet's climate change committee on Wednesday after criticism of the delay in setting it up.

Senior figures including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove are among the permanent members of the committee.

Downing Street said the group would "provide a forum to co-ordinate and hold departments to account for their actions to combat climate change", and consider the preparations for the United Nations Cop26 summit due to be held in Glasgow in November.

Priorities

Mr Johnson had been criticised for not convening the committee earlier, including by former Cop26 president Claire O'Neill - who was sacked from her role in January.

In a letter in February, just days after being fired, she told Mr Johnson the government was "miles off track" in its preparations and "the cabinet sub-committee on climate that you promised to chair, and which I was to attend, has not met once".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman confirmed the committee would now be convened with Mr Johnson chairing it and the other permanent members being Business Secretary and Cop26 president Alok Sharma, Environment Secretary George Eustice and Environment Minister and former editor of The Ecologist, Lord Goldsmith (pictured, with Johnson).

The spokesman said: "Tomorrow afternoon, the PM will chair the first Cabinet committee on climate change which will drive further action across government to protect the environment, reduce emissions and improve air quality.

"Tomorrow the ministers will be discussing their priorities for the year of climate action and the UK's longer-term strategy for tackling climate change, as well as the ongoing preparations for Cop26."

Forum

The government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and senior officials will also attend the meeting.

Along with the permanent membership, other ministers may attend as required.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng will attend the first meeting.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "It's the first Government committee of its kind.

"It will be bringing together ministers responsible for domestic and climate change policy to provide a forum to co-ordinate and hold departments to account for their actions to combat climate change."

This Author

David Hughes is the PA political editor. 

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