Michael Gove has said he is “open minded” about giving the new look environment regulator a remit on climate change.

The environment secretary of state appeared before the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) select committee as part of its pre-legislative scrutiny into the bill to set up the new agency which will take over the enforcement of EU environmental regulations post-Brexit.

The exclusion of climate change from the Office for Environmental Protection’s (OEP) remit, partly because of concerns that it would overlap with the Committee on Climate Change’s role as statutory adviser on such issues, has been criticised.

Gove said that he would not wish to upset the existing working of the CCC.

“There is a delicate question as to whether and how the OEP should take into account these considerations.

“There are arguments as to why that might change the nature of the way in which the Committee on Climate Change works, and not necessarily in a good way.”

But the secretary of state said that he is “open minded” about how the issue might be resolved.

Chris Stark, chief executive of the CCC, had earlier told the committee that powers to enforce the energy efficiency directive and the renewable energy directive should be incorporated into UK law.