Policy

Reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050

Issue

The 2008 Climate Change Act established the world’s first legally binding climate change target. We aim to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.

We are trying to achieve this reduction through action at home and abroad. Moving to a more energy efficient, low-carbon economy will help us meet this target. It will also help the UK become less reliant on imported fossil fuels and less exposed to higher energy prices in the future.

Actions

Setting national policy and strategy

To make sure that UK government policies contribute effectively to our greenhouse gas reduction targets, we’re:

Reducing the demand for energy and helping people and businesses to use energy more efficiently

We can achieve significant reductions in the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions if businesses, the public sector and households reduce their demand for energy. We’re:

Investing in low-carbon technologies

Low-carbon technologies will make an important contribution to our greenhouse gas reduction targets. We’re:

Publicly reporting carbon emissions from businesses and the public sector

Public reporting of carbon emissions helps to encourage organisations to become more energy efficient, and allows us to assess the progress that’s being made. We’re:

Taking international action

We are also:

Background

In December 2011 we published the Carbon Plan, which sets out our proposals for achieving the emissions reductions committed to in the first 4 carbon budgets. This will help the UK meet its 2050 target.

Bills and legislation

The Climate Change Act 2008 sets out the UK’s legally binding targets. It aims to:

  • improve carbon management and help the transition to a low-carbon economy in the UK
  • show the UK is committed to taking its share of responsibility for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by developing negotiations on a post-2012 international climate change agreement

Who we’re working with

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an expert, independent, statutory public body created by the Climate Change Act 2008 to assess how the UK can best achieve its emissions reduction targets for 2020 and 2050. It also assesses the UK’s progress on meeting the statutory carbon budgets.

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