As a response to the twin challenges of climate change mitigation and energy security, the UK government has set a groundbreaking target of reducing the UKs economy-wide carbon emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. A second key UK energy policy is to increase the share of final energy consumption from renewables sources to 15% by 2020, as part of the wider EU Renewable Directive. The UKs principle mechanisms to meet this renewable target are the Renewable Obligation (RO) in the electricity sector, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), and most recently the Renewable Heat Programme (RHP) for buildings. This study quantifies a range of policies, energy pathways, and sectoral trade-offs when combining mid- and long-term UK renewables and CO2reduction policies. Stringent renewable policies are the binding constraints through 2020. Furthermore, the interactions between RO, RTFO, and RHP policies drive trade-offs between low carbon electricity, bio-fuels, high efficiency natural gas, and demand reductions as well as resulting 2020 welfare costs. In the longer term, CO2reduction constraints drive the costs and characteristics of the UK energy system through 2050.