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Last edited 21 Apr 2021
To drive progress, the Act introduced a system of carbon budgets which provide legally binding limits on the amount of emissions that may be produced in successive five-year periods, beginning in 2008. The first three carbon budgets were set in law in May 2009. The fourth carbon budget was set in law on 30 June 2011.
- 2008-2012, 23% reduction below 1990 levels.
- 2013-2017, 29% reduction below 1990 levels.
- 2018-2022, 35% reduction below 1990 levels.
- 2023-2027, 50% reduction below 1990 levels.
The Low Carbon Transition Plan: National strategy for climate and energy, published in July 2009, set out the strategy for meeting the first three carbon budgets. It was an overarching document and a number of more detailed documents were published alongside it, including:
- Low Carbon Transport – a Greener Future (DfT)
- The UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy (BIS and DECC).
- The UK Renewable Energy Strategy (DECC).
The Carbon Plan: Delivering our low carbon future updated and superseded the 2009 report and presented the Government’s strategy for meeting all four carbon budgets, with a particular focus on the fourth carbon budget. It was presented to parliament by the UK government in December 2011.
 Part 1
- It sets out a number of principles that underpin the transition to a low-carbon economy
- It presents a vision for 2050 in key sectors.
- It describes a range of three possible future scenarios.
 Part 2
- Secure, low carbon electricity.
- Agriculture, forestry and land management.
- Waste and resource efficiency.
 Part 3
Short quarterly updates on the implementation of the Carbon Plan are available here.
On 15 December 2015, the Green Construction Board published, Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment, 2015 Routemap Progress | Technical Report. This updated the Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment prepared in 2013 aimed at delivering an 80% cut in UK built environment carbon emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
It found that annual emissions in the UK had actually increased since 2009, primarily due to an increase in gas consumption from heating. The report states “There has been a growing divergence occurring over just a few years (2009 through 2013). Given the steepness of the trajectory required to meet the ambition for built environment carbon reductions (and statutory targets for the UK as a whole), a significant transformation from the ongoing ‘status quo’ trajectory is needed.”
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Carbon capture and storage.
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- CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.
- Climate Change Act
- Climate Change Levy.
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- Climate target revisions for Carbon Budget 6.
- Energy Act.
- Energy related products regulations.
- Environment Bill 2020.
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- Making Mission Possible: report on achieving a zero-carbon economy by 2030.
- National Adaptation Programme.
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