A review of the target to reduce the UK's CO2 emissions by at least 60% by 2050 will become a statutory duty under the climate change bill currently passing through parliament, environment secretary [minister] Hilary Benn has said.

He announced the decision alongside other amendments to strengthen the bill as it moves towards completing its passage through the upper house of lords.

The government has committed to ask the independent committee on climate change to consider whether the 2050 target should be tightened up to 80%, as the committee considers its advice on the first three five-year carbon budgets, Benn said in a statement.

Benn said: "The climate change bill is groundbreaking legislation, and will provide the foundations for building a low carbon Britain.  We need it to be as strong as possible.

He added: "The scientific evidence has moved rapidly, and as part of a new global climate deal, developed countries may have to cut their emissions by as much as 80% by 2050. That's why we announced a review of the UK target last year.

"This review will now be a statutory duty, and I've asked the committee to provide their advice on both the 2050 target and on the first three carbon budgets by 1 December.

"The committee will have the independence and the expertise that we need to provide us with the best possible advice, and its review will give us a firm, credible basis for making a decision on whether the target should be changed."

Other amendments tabled in parliament this week included measures to strengthen compliance with the target, increase accountability and transparency and expand the remit of the committee on climate change.

The UK government proposes to strengthen compliance with the 2050 target by requiring the secretary of state (minister in charge) to bring forward proposals and policies that will enable the carbon budgets to be met, and to consider the duty to meet the 2050 target in developing those policies and measures.

To provide greater transparency, when publishing the report on policies and proposals to meet budgets, a new requirement will see the government setting out an annual indicative range for the carbon account over the five-year budget. The indicative annual range, combined with greater clarity about the timescales for policies to take effect, will ensure the government can be held to account for progress during each year of the budget period.

The role of the committee on climate change will be strengthened to ensure that the government has access to the best possible information in making decisions under the Bill. In particular, the government will be required to seek and take account of advice from the committee in an expanded number of situations, including before deciding whether to incorporate international aviation or international shipping emissions in the UK's targets and budgets.