Benn announces statutory review

A review of the target to reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050 will become a statutory duty under the Climate Change Bill, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said this week.

Mr Benn announced the decision alongside other amendments to strengthen the legislation as it moves towards completing its passage through the House of Lords.

The government has committed to ask the independent Committee on Climate Change, headed by Adair Turner, to consider whether the 2050 target should be tightened up to 80 per cent, as the committee considers its advice on the first three five-year carbon budgets.

‘The scientific evidence has moved rapidly, and as part of a new global climate deal, developed countries may have to cut their emissions by as much as 80 per cent by 2050. That’s why we announced a review of the UK target last year,’ said Benn. ‘This review will now be a statutory duty, and I’ve asked the committee to provide their advice on both the 2050 target and on the first three carbon budgets by 1 December this year.

‘The committee will have the independence and the expertise that we need to provide us with the best possible advice, and its review will give us a firm, credible basis for making a decision on whether the target should be changed.’

Other amendments tabled earlier this week include measures to strengthen compliance with the target, increase accountability and transparency and expand the remit of the Committee on Climate Change.

Further information on the Climate Change Bill can be found here.