The head of the UK’s Climate Change Committee Chris Stark will resign as the government struggles to put the country on a trajectory to reach a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Since Stark took the top job in 2018, the CCC has advocated for more ambitious approaches to tackling climate change, including the passing of a legally-binding net-zero target. But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has weakened some policies adopted by his predecessors, and the country is falling behind on the deployment of some tools that will be critical to realizing its goals.
At the same time, Britain has taken some steps to expand low-carbon power sources, including a plan announced Thursday to build a series of major nuclear power reactors in the coming years. It also increased government support for new offshore wind farms last year after an auction failed to attract any bidders.
But under Sunak, the UK has also approved a new coal mine, delayed a ban on sales of new fossil-fuel cars and increased support for new offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.
The CCC was established by Parliament in 2008 to act as an independent body to advise the government and present reports on the country’s progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Stark will end his tenure in April and the CCC is seeking a replacement, according to an emailed statement from the watchdog. He will become chief executive officer of the Carbon Trust advisory group later this year.