Documents to download


In June 2019, with the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019, the Government committed to a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. This is referred to as the net zero target.

The Government stated that net zero means “any emissions would be balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using technology like carbon capture and storage”.

Existing policies

The UK Government has a range of policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change. The Government’s main climate change policy document is the Net Zero Strategy (Build Back Greener) which was published on 19 October 2021 (updated April 2022). It set out policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet the Government’s net zero target by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy builds on the Government’s Ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution which was published on 18 November 2020.

These policies were updated in March 2023 with a suite of publications under the policy paper, Powering Up Britain that included the Powering Up Britain: Net Zero Growth Plan.

Other policy documents include:

Climate Change Committee progress report

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is an independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008. It advises the UK Government and devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) on emissions targets and reports to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

The CCC’s latest annual Progress Report to Parliament was published in June 2022.  The report notes that “emissions rose 4% in 2021 compared with 2020 as the economy began to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The full 2022 Progress Report to Parliament contains detailed chapters on these and other sectors. Each chapter provides information on emissions trends, progress towards net zero, and an assessment of relevant policies.

The Government responded to the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Annual Progress Report 2022 Recommendations (PDF) in March 2023.

Independent review of net zero

On 13 January 2022, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published Mission Zero: Independent Review of Net Zero. The review was commissioned by the BEIS Secretary of State in September 2022 and conducted by former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore MP.

The review made 129 recommendations to Government and proposed 25 key actions. In March 2023, the Government published its response to the review stating that:

We agree with the review’s conclusion that net zero is the growth opportunity of the 21st century and could offer major economic opportunities to the UK – but that decisive action is needed to seize these. Other countries such as the USA with the Inflation Reduction Act are moving quickly, and we must do the same. We are focused on unlocking the ambition of places and communities to deliver net zero by 2050.

Lords Library briefing on the Skidmore Review (January, 2023) provides further information on the scope of the briefing, its findings and Government and wider stakeholder reaction.

Energy Bill

The Government’s Energy Bill 2022-23 was introduced in the House of Lords on 6 July 2022. The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 25 April 2023. Second reading was on 9 May 2023.

The Government’s Energy Security Bill overarching factsheet explained that the Bill “will deliver a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system for the long term”, building on the commitments in the April 2022 British Energy Security Strategy to “invest in homegrown energy and maintain the diversity and resilience of the UK’s energy supply”.

The Commons Library briefing Energy Bill [HL] 2022-23: Overview provides further details on the Bill and links to a series of more detailed Library briefings on specific areas of the Bill.  

Carbon Budget Delivery Plan

The Government’s Carbon Budget Delivery Plan (March 2023) fulfils statutory duties under the Climate Change Act 2008 setting out a package of proposals and policies, and associated timescales and delivery risks, that enable Carbon Budgets 4-6, which cover the periods 2023-27, 2028-32 and 2033-37 respectively, to be met.

The plan estimates that its quantified proposals and policies will give over 100% of savings required to meet Carbon Budget 4 and 5 and 97% of the savings required to meet Carbon Budget 6.


  • The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 confirmed that since March 2021 the Government committed a total of £30 billion of public investment for the green industrial revolution in the UK.
  • The Autumn Statement 2022 made available £6 billion additional funding to drive improvements in energy efficiency.
  • The Spring Budget 2023 made up to £20 billion available for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).
  • Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, March 2021, is a £1 billion fund to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies, systems and business models in power, buildings, and industry.

Additional Library briefings

The following Library briefings contain further information on some of the Government’s net zero policies and related topics:

Documents to download

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