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Climate Change: Research

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Natural Environment Research Council’s programme quantifying and understanding the earth system in informing the Government’s climate change policy. (167820)

A number of NERC-funded research programmes and collaborations provide scientific evidence that informs the Government’s climate change policy. The Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System (QUEST) programme is just one of these; others include the RAPID Climate Change programme, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

NERC council has undertaken an independent mid-term evaluation of the QUEST programme, which will be published shortly. This evaluation concluded that the programme has made good links with stakeholders including central government, and that it is satisfactorily mobilising its preliminary science outputs to inform policy, and increasing the UK’s capability to generate policy-relevant science.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) takes the lead within Government for climate change policy and commissions research on climate change in support of policy. It has not made an assessment of the effectiveness of the NERC programme quantifying and understanding the earth system in informing the Government’s climate change policy, although it does draw on its work programmes.