Carbon Budget Consultation

Closed 11 Oct 2023

Opened 21 Jun 2023


The Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has published a consultation on Northern Ireland’s 2030 and 2040 Emissions Reduction Targets and First Three Carbon Budgets. This 16-week consultation, running from 21 June to 11 October 2023, will aim to receive feedback on the proposed first three carbon budgets 2023-2027, 2028-2032 and 2033-2037 as well as 2030 (48%) and 2040 (77%) interim targets. This is a hugely positive step for Northern Ireland and will set us well on our way to Net Zero.

A carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted in a given period.  The Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) advice is that the first Carbon Budget for Northern Ireland from 2023-2027 is set at levels that have an average reduction of 33% on 1990 levels which sets Northern Ireland on track to achieve 48% by 2030.

As well as consulting on the Carbon Budget, DAERA is working collaboratively with all NICS departments and are seeking views on the CCC Advice Report: The Path to Net Zero Northern Ireland published on 2 March 2023.

This consultation provides an opportunity to talk about what we need to do to respond to the challenges presented by climate change and about the opportunities that might emerge. Work is progressing at pace in developing Northern Ireland’s first ever Climate Action Plan and all NICS departments have a legislative duty to set out how they will reduce emissions This consultation and the conversations that will take place will also be used to help inform the draft Climate Action Plan.

Why your views matter

  • The Department welcomes the views of from all citizens in Northern Ireland as climate change affects everyone.  We would encourage participation from all interested parties.  This is your opportunity to tell us how you feel about our approach to tackling climate change for Northern Ireland.   
  • The survey is quick and simple to complete. Please supplement your response with any relevant supporting information, evidence and/or analysis.
  • There will be a series of stakeholder engagement events during the carbon budget consultation period.  These will take place both online and in person across Northern Ireland.  Details are available on the DAERA website and events will be advertised on social media and in local newspapers. 
  • If you are unable to complete the survey online, please contact the team by email at:
  • Guidance is provided on the ‘Confidentiality’ of responses under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, in Annex 2 for your reference. Also, if you require any further information, please contact a member of the consultation team on 028 9056 9708. 
  • By responding to this consultation, you are agreeing that any information gathered may be shared with other NICS departments. 
  • Responses to this consultation are invited until 11.59pm on 11 Oct 2023. Following consideration of all responses, a full analysis report will be published on DAERA’s website.

    Thank you for taking part in this consultation. 

What happens next

Regulations setting Carbon Budgets & 2030 and 2040 Emissions Reduction Targets

Following completion of this consultation process, the views of consultees will be considered to help inform decisions on the appropriate emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, and the level of the first three carbon budgets for Northern Ireland. Work will continue to complete the necessary impact assessments and ensure all requirements are adhered to. These targets and carbon budgets must be set through regulations which need to be agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive before being laid in the Assembly for debate and approval.

Developing Northern Ireland’s first Climate Action Plan

DAERA is continuing to work with other Northern Ireland departments to draft Northern Ireland’s first Climate Action Plan covering the period 2023-2027. The draft Climate Action Plan will be shaped by cross-departmental input on policies and proposals to reduce Northern Ireland’s emissions and deliver effective decarbonisation actions across key sectors.  It will also consider, amongst others, key issues of Just Transition, behavioural change, science and evidence, innovation, climate resilience, soil quality, air quality and biodiversity.  In developing the draft Climate Action Plan, departments will also assess the impacts associated with the proposed policies and proposals. Stakeholders’ views on the CCC Advice Report gathered as part of this process will help inform the development of the Climate Action Plan. 



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