New inquiry: Carbon budgets

12 May 2011

The Committee is today launching an inquiry into the Government’s plans for delivering the carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act.

The Government is expected shortly to decide on emissions targets for the UK for the fourth carbon budget period (2023-2027). The inquiry will examine these targets and in particular it will look at the Government’s assessment of the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations for the fourth carbon budget, and the implications of the Government’s decision on setting this budget.

The inquiry will also examine how Government departments, and potentially local authorities and others, should be apportioned responsibility for achieving the carbon budgets, and how the Government’s Carbon Plan will be used to deliver the carbon budget targets. The Committee will examine the extent to which the Carbon Plan provides an appropriate tool for both delivering the climate change targets and for monitoring the Government’s performance towards them.

The Committee invites organisations and members of the public to submit written evidence, setting out their views on these issues. Submissions should ideally be sent to the Committee by 3 June. Guidance on preparing submissions is set out below.


The UK carbon budgets are the statutory greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets set out under the Climate Change Act 2008. The first three carbon budgets (covering the period 2008-2022) have already been set. The fourth carbon budget (2023-2027) will need to be set by 30 June 2011.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the UK Government on setting and meeting carbon budgets and on preparing for the impacts of climate change.

The Government’s draft Carbon Plan, published in March 2011 (PDF 109 MB), provides a Government-wide plan – department by department – for actions on climate change, including domestic and international activity over the next 5 years. The plan lists policies and programmes and targets for starting these policies.  

For written submissions to the Committee, please note:

Each submission should ideally:

  • Be no more than 3,000 words in length;
  • Begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
  • Have numbered paragraphs; and
  • Be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked ‘Carbon Budgets’. An additional paper copy should be sent to:

Clerk of the Committee
Environmental Audit Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Guide for written submissions to Select Committees (PDF PDF 1.25 MB)

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