The environment secretary, Hilary Benn, has announced that the Climate Change Bill (the Bill) will be amended to make it a statutory duty to review the UK’s 2050 GHG emissions reduction target. As currently drafted, the Bill sets a statutory target for the government to reduce the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050 against 1990 levels, although the prime minister has already signalled that the Committee on Climate Change, established by the Bill to act as advisors to the government on setting carbon budgets and to parliament on meeting them and the 2050 target, would be asked to consider whether the 2050 target should be increased to 80 per cent.

The government also announced other amendments to the Bill including measures to: strengthen compliance with the target, by requiring the secretary of state to bring forward proposals and policies that will enable the carbon budgets to be met, and to consider the duty to meet the 2050 target in developing those policies and measures; to increase accountability and transparency; and expand the remit of the Committee on Climate Change.