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Decarbonisation programme

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The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 sets out the approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Wales.

The Environment (Wales) Act places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to ensure that in 2050 net emissions are at least 80% lower than the baseline. Targets for 2020, 2030 and 2040, and 5-yearly carbon budgets create a trajectory towards the 2050 target.

Welsh Ministers must prepare and publish a set of policies and proposals for each carbon budgetary period. Welsh Ministers are also required to publish a statement of progress after each budgetary period and interim target year. The UK Committee on Climate Change (UKCCC) must provide advice to the Welsh Ministers and report on progress made against the budgets and targets.

The Climate Change (Wales) Regulations 2018 were passed by the National Assembly for Wales in December 2018. The Regulations:

  • set the interim targets and first 2 carbon budgets
  • include our share of emissions from international shipping and international aviation
  • set out how the Welsh Ministers can utilise international carbon credits (offsets)
  • set a limit of 10% on the use of carbon credits for the first carbon budget

We are not planning to use carbon credits to meet the first carbon budget but accept the UKCCC’s advice that they provide flexibility for unforeseen circumstances, such as significantly increased industrial output.

The interim targets are:

  • 2020: 27% reduction against the baseline
  • 2030: 45% reduction
  • 2040: 67% reduction

Our first carbon budget runs from 2016-20 and requires an average reduction of 23% against the baseline. The second carbon budget (2021-25) requires an average reduction of 33%.

We sought and accepted advice from the UKCCC in developing the Regulations. The UKCCC provided advice in 2 parts:

In March 2019 we will publish our first Low Carbon Delivery Plan, drawing on the responses to the Achieving our low-carbon pathway to 2030 consultation. The Plan will outline the policies and proposals to meet our first carbon budget and will set the longer-term policy context to deliver clean growth and improve the well-being of Welsh communities.