Building & Design

UK promises to cut red tape on EU ETS

The UK government pledged today to cut the red tape for the country’s industry participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Instead of the 13 sets of regulation covering Phase III of the scheme, which will take effect from 2013 onwards, the UK government is proposing a ‘single regulatory instrument’.

The move is part of the government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’, which aims to remove or rescind unnecessary legislation across the board, including on the environmental regulation side.

The plans proposed by the government would also allow smaller emitters and hospitals, which are subject to proportionally higher costs, to ‘opt out’ from the EU ETS in 2013 in favour of a ‘lighter touch’ alternative scheme.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which published the proposals today, small emitters can face administration charges over £1 per tonne of CO2 emitted (tCO2) compared with £0.04/tCO2 for larger emitters.

Significantly, the enforcement system would also become governed by civil rather than criminal sanctions.

“We have worked closely with industry to develop sensible proposals that will genuinely save companies money and time, while still allowing them to meet environmental goals,” says Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.

The government is now seeking views on the proposals, which will be open for consultation until July 31.

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Related stories:
Business leaders call on EU to redouble green growth efforts (3-May)
European Parliament votes to prop up Emissions Trading System (29-Feb)
Clean energy is not being deployed quickly enough, warns IEA (25-Apr)
EU must take action to reduce its environmental footprint (23-Apr)

08 May 2012