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Environment (Wales) Act 2016

Section 32 – Emissions targets and carbon budgets: principles

155.This section requires the Welsh Ministers to set interim emissions targets at a level that is consistent with meeting the 2050 emissions target. It requires the Welsh Ministers to set carbon budgets at a level that is consistent with meeting the interim targets and the 2050 target.

156.Under subsection (2), the Welsh Ministers may not make regulations which change the 2050 emission target, an interim emissions target or a carbon budget unless at least one of the following conditions is met:

  • They are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so as a result of significant development in either scientific knowledge about climate change or in EU or international law or policy that relates to climate change;

  • The advisory body has recommended the change; or

  • Regulations have been made under section 35 or 37 providing for emissions of a greenhouse gas from international aviation or international shipping to count as part of the Welsh emissions of the gas, or amending the list of greenhouse gases that are relevant for the purposes of Part 2.

157.Subsection (3) places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to have regard to a set of criteria when making regulations changing the 2050 emissions target, or setting or changing an interim emissions target or a carbon budget. The criteria are:

  • The most recent state of natural resources report published by NRW under section 8 of Part 1 of this Act;

  • The most recent future trends report under section 11 of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015;

  • The most recent report (if any is available at the time of setting or changing any of the targets or budget) of the Future Generations Commissioner under section 23 of that Act;

  • Scientific knowledge about or technology relevant to climate change; and

  • EU and international law and policy relating to climate change, including international agreements which include measures to limit increases in global average temperatures.

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