Climate Change Act (CCA)

The Climate Change Act (2008) was introduced to ensure the UK cuts its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The 80% target is set against a 1990 baseline.

The act enables the UK to become a low carbon economy. It sets in place a legally binding framework allowing the government to introduce measures which will achieve carbon reduction and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

As the largest public sector emitter of carbon emissions, the health system has a duty to respond to meet these targets which are entrenched in law.  Contributing to the Climate Change Act target with a 34% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 is a key measure of our ambition across the country. In order to achieve these targets the NHS has already committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 10% by 2015.  Reduced environmental impact will be measured against the target of 34% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2020 and be well placed to meet the 50% target by 2025.

The key aspects of the Act are:

  1. Improve carbon management and help the transition towards a low carbon economy in the UK
  2. Demonstrate strong UK leadership internationally, signalling that the English health system is committed to taking its share of responsibility for reducing global emissions.

It is clear that we all have a duty to help the health system reduce its carbon emissions to meet these targets. The SDU has produced a series of reports, documents and guides which will help you achieve your organisation’s sustainable development goals, and help the country meet the Climate Change Act targets.