Carbon budgets are legally binding caps on the amount of greenhouse gases the UK can emit over a five-year period. They are set at least 12 years in advance to give policymakers, businesses, and individuals enough time to prepare.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) advises the government on the appropriate level of each carbon budget. Once the government accepts the CCC’s advice, the budget is passed into law by Parliament.
Carbon budgets describe the most cost-effective way to achieve the UK’s long-term climate change goals. They consider a range of factors, including scientific knowledge, technology, economic and social circumstances.