Environmental Law Service

Climate Law Database

Control system of implementation of the Climate Change Act

There are three major types of institutions that are required to strengthen the implementation of a Climate Change Act. Naturally, there are many more besides these major groups and this differentiation is certainly simplified. These institutions are:

  • secondary decision-making institutions

This is the Government, or a major Governmental agency, e.g. the Secretary of State in the UK, the Government in Canada or Hungary, or the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in Ireland. These institutions are subordinated to Parliament both generally and in this specific matter, i.e. the emission reduction targets defined by an Act or Parliament are made operational by decisions of these institutions.

  • executing institutions

These are those public bodies subordinated to the Government, etc. that make sure that the secondary targets are met and complied with. Examples of these are the ministries and bodies of public administration, such as the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland.

  • supporting institutions

These institutions have a supportive function, mostly by being consultative bodies and giving scientific advice to any public body requesting so. Examples of these are the Committee on Climate Change in the UK or the Scottish Committee on Climate Change in Scotland.

From the three types of institutions mentioned above, the first two are more or less given, however, the third one is more flexible in both composition and powers. In potential climate change legislation, this kind of institutions should:

  • include more segments of the society, i.e. the Government, the industrial, the academic and the civil sector, however, not giving anyone the right of veto or the potential for obstructing the work of the body (an example of this can be the National Sustainable Development Council of Hungary).
  • have the powers at least to:

    give advice on carbon budgets and such kind of instruments

    evaluate and comment proposals for making policies aimed at implementing emission reduction targets

    oversee and monitor the implementation of the targets form a broad perspective

    comment the progress reports and the final report of the respective institutions

    be consulted in decisions over the financing of mitigation and adaptation

    be involved in designing academic curricula related to climate change

    reach out to the public to ensure awareness of the public in relevant matters

  • operate on a basis of equality of sides, letting each stakeholder group have its representation but also preventing overtaking the decision-making process by either side.