The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019


The Climate Change Act 2008 already provides a legal requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions against this baseline level by 80% by 2050. This new Regulatory Order increases this target to a 100% reduction.

What is Net Zero?

In simple terms, ‘net zero’ means the total emissions produced by the nation are equal to or less than the emissions removed from the environment. If met, this target would effectively mean that the UK will cease to contribute to global emissions in 2050 and fully meet our Paris Agreement obligations.

It is being assessed against a 1990 baseyear.

The Order applies to the whole of the UK.

The CCC did recommend an earlier target for Scotland (net zero by 2045) and a slightly reduced target for Wales (95% emissions reduction by 2050) to reflect their different capacity for decarbonisation – for example, Scotland benefits from high levels of low carbon hydroelectricity.

In addition to the Climate Change Act 2008,Wales and Scotland have their own legislation on decarbonisation targets

No target was recommended for Northern Ireland.

The Scottish Governmenthave already amended their Climate Change Bill to include the new target. This was enacted shortly after the CCC published their report.

The Welsh Governmenthas said that it accepts the CCC’s recommendation, but want to go further so will bring regulations before the Assembly on a net-zero by 2050 target early next year.

For more information on the Climate Change Act 2008, the 2019 Regulatory Order and meeting Net Zero, please log into the ICON hub.