Guidance

Carbon Budgets

A carbon budget places a restriction on the total amount of greenhouse gases the UK can emit over a 5-year period. The UK is the first country to set legally binding carbon budgets.

Under a system of carbon budgets, every tonne of greenhouse gases emitted between now and 2050 will count. Where emissions rise in one sector, the UK will have to achieve corresponding falls in another.

1. Setting of the first to third carbon budget

Final statement for the first carbon budget period

Carbon Budgets Order 2009

Climate Change Act 2008 (2020 Target, Credit Limit and Definitions) Order 2009

2. Setting of the second carbon budget credit limit

Setting the limit on the use of international carbon units for the second carbon budget period: 2013 to 2017

Climate Change Act 2008 (Credit Limit) Order 2011

3. Setting of the third carbon budget credit limit

Setting the limit on the use of international carbon units for the third carbon budget period: 2018 to 2022

Climate Change Act 2008 (Credit Limit) Order 2016

4. Setting of the fourth carbon budget (2023-2027)

Carbon Budgets Order 2011

5. Setting of the fifth carbon budget (2028-2032)

The Government has agreed with the Committee on Climate Change and set the fifth budgetary period covering 2028 to 2032 at 1,725 MtCO2e.

Carbon Budget Order 2016

Policies and proposals to meet carbon budgets

In 2011, the Government set out scenarios on how it is going to meet the first four carbon budgets from 2008-2027.

Published 30 June 2016
Last updated 22 July 2016 + show all updates
  1. Fifth Carbon Budget has now become law. Page updated.
  2. First published.