The Climate Change Act

Briefing note

The Climate Change Act received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008 and set an overarching target to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The Act had strong political support: it was passed nearly unanimously by Parliament, as were the first four carbon budgets establishing intermediate targets.

This briefing note summarises research by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on key features of the Climate Change Act. These include the background, the economics, the UK low-carbon transition, the international context and the scientific evidence.