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As part of our aim to reach net zero, the Mayor has adopted a system of five-year carbon budgets from 2018-2032, to create an emissions pathway to 2050. The first Budget covers the period 2018-2022, and a 40 per cent reduction corresponds to the midpoint of the Budget (2020). This requires us to reduce emissions to a level of 27 MtCO2 e, from a figure of 30.9 MtCO2 e in 2016, the year for which we have the most recent data.
We are on track to meet the first carbon budget, provided the government forecasts for decarbonisation of the electricity grid (largely by generating more power from large scale renewables like wind farms) are met. This electricity grid decarbonisation is also vital for the Government to meet national carbon budgets. The Committee on Climate Change recently highlighted that current government policies are on track to put the power sector on course to meet its contribution towards the UK’s second carbon budget, including achieving 80TWh of renewable generation.
It is too early to say if we will meet later carbon budgets: 2023- 2027: (requires a 50 per cent reduction) and 2028 – 2032 (requires a 60 per cent reduction) as it will depend on the development of national policies particularly on energy efficiency and heat. However, the Committee on Climate Change noted that Government must set out plans to deliver additional low carbon generation over and above what they have contracted for to 2030 to deliver an ambition for an emissions intensity towards 50 gCO2/kWh.