CCC Insights Briefing 3: The UK's Net Zero target

Case Summary: 

The UK Climate Change Act contains a legally binding long-term goal to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero in 2050. This ‘Net Zero’ goal was legislated in 2019 following advice from the Climate Change Committee (CCC), requested by Government in 2018.

The CCC recommended the Net Zero 2050 goal as an appropriate contribution from the UK to the Paris Agreement. It can be achieved with known technologies alongside improvements in people's lives, and within the expected economic cost that Parliament accepted when it legislated the previous 2050 target for an 80% reduction from 1990.

This briefing summarises the considerations behind the CCC advice, which is published in full in two reports on the CCC website.

This briefing is structured in four sections:

  1. Defining Net Zero
  2. When to reach Net Zero
  3. The UK Net Zero 2050 target
  4. The impacts of the UK’s Net Zero target
United Kingdom
Europe and Central Asia
Action Area 
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Developing Strategies and Plans, Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures, Governance and Stakeholder Engagement, Long-Term Strategies
Barriers overcome 
Information, Institutional
Climate Change Committee, UK
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