Section 29 - The 2050 emissions target
148.Subsection (1) of this section imposes a duty on the Welsh Ministers to ensure that the net Welsh emissions account for 2050 is at least 80% lower than the baseline. The baseline is defined in section 38 as the aggregate amount of net Welsh emissions of certain listed greenhouse gases for the baseline years of those gases (either 1990 or 1995 for each gas). The target for 2050 is set by reference to baseline years rather than a particular quantum of emissions because the baseline years are subject to revision as understanding of historic emissions improves. Using baseline for this calculation is consistent with the methodology employed for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1998, an international agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, to which the UK is party.
149.Subsection (3) provides the Welsh Ministers with a power to amend subsection (1) by setting the 2050 target as a percentage greater than 80%. The power may only be used if one of the conditions provided in section 32(2) is met and must have regard to the matters provided in section 32(3). Before the Welsh Ministers lay draft regulations to amend the 2050 target, they must seek advice from the advisory body (section 49(1)). The advice provided to the Welsh Ministers by the advisory body must also include the body’s opinion on the matters provided in section 50(1), which includes whether the proposed target is the highest achievable target and if not, what is the highest achievable target.
150.The term “the net Welsh emissions account” is defined in section 34. See explanatory notes on sections 33 and 38 for a more detailed explanation of carbon accounting and the net Welsh emissions account.