Government climate and sustainability policies

The 2015 Paris Agreement set out a global action plan to avoid dangerous climate change and 195 countries agreed to a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to aim to limit any increase to 1.5°C.

The Climate Change Act 2008 introduced the UK's first legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and was amended in 2019 to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050.

Government has also put in place these measures or strategies:

Fuel Poverty Strategy

Since the initial publication in 2015, there have been developments in key policies:

> Energy Company Obligation (ECO):

ECO is an obligation on larger energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures. Since ECO was introduced in 2013, it has improved approximately two million homes. The new scheme, which launched in late 2018 is entirely focused on low income and vulnerable households.

> Warm Home Discount (WHD):

Providing over two million low income and vulnerable consumers in Great Britain with a £140 rebate off their energy bill each winter. For more details visit: www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme

> Minimum energy efficiency standards

Designed to tackle the least energy-efficient private rental properties - those rated F or G.  Around 40% of these households are living in fuel poverty. These regulations establish a minimum standard of EPC band E for both domestic and non-domestic private rented property. Landlords are expected to ensure properties achieve a minimum standard of Band E, subject to a cost cap of £3,500 including VAT per property.  

Green Industrial Revolution

This plan focuses on increasing ambition in the following 10 areas:

  • Advancing offshore wind
  • Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen
  • Delivering new and advanced nuclear power
  • Accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles
  • Green public transport, cycling and walking
  • 'Jet zero' and green ships
  • Greener buildings
  • Investing in carbon capture, usage and storage
  • Protecting our natural environment
  • Green finance and innovation

www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-ten-point-plan-for-a-green-industrial-revolution