Climate Change Act 2008 as Amended

Last updated: 10 February 2022

The Climate Change Act sets a target for the year 2050 for the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions; provides for a system of carbon budgeting; establishes a Committee on Climate Change; confers powers to establish trading schemes for the purpose of limiting greenhouse gas emissions or encouraging activities that reduce such emissions or remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere; makes provisions about adaptation to climate change; makes provision about carbon emissions reduction targets and climate change; and legislates on connected purposes. 


It aims to improve carbon management, help the t­ransition toward a low-carbon economy, and demonstrate strong international UK leadership. Major provisions of the Act include the setting of legally binding targets, the establishment of a carbon budgeting system, and the creation of a Committee on Climate Change. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent body designed to recommend targets, advise on the level of carbon budgets, as well as to monitor and report progress towards targets. The Climate Change Act was amended in 2019 to legislate a long-term, economy-wide target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, by 2050.  Prior to this amendment, the Act had set a target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.  


The related Carbon Plan sets out policies and proposals for meeting the first carbon budgets and can be accessed here:



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