The UK Climate Change Act was passed in 2008. It is the primary legislation that underpins action to address climate change by the UK. It provides a comprehensive framework for climate change mitigation and adaptation, underpinned by legally binding emissions targets for 2050 and the coming 15 years. It assigns clear duties and responsibilities for action based around independent expert advice and monitoring.
The Act is credited with helping the UK to deliver sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions alongside a growing economy. The Act has received widespread support from business and enabled a positive narrative on UK climate action.
This briefing introduces the Act and its structure and highlights learning from its twelve years in operation. This briefing is structured in three sections:
- Background to the UK Climate Change Act
- The four pillars of the Climate Change Act
- Learning from the Act