Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

02.06.20

New proposals published to help UK tackle climate change

New Government proposals were published yesterday (June 1) that could help the UK go further in tackling climate change.

The new system, jointly designed with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive, boasts a UK-wide Emissions Trading System (ETS) that would charge for carbon pollution, encouraging polluters to limit the amount of greenhouse gases they emit.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) claims it would be a ‘crucial step’ towards achieving the UK’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Included in the proposals are plans to reduce the existing emissions cap by 5%, making it more stringent than the current EU system in place.

The new system will take the best of the current EU ETS system whilst being more flexible to deliver greater outcomes specifically for the UK, with Government intending to further amend the cap, once up and running, in line with its net zero targets.

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng:

“The UK is a world-leader in tackling climate change, and thanks to the opportunities arising as we exit the transition period, we are now able to go even further, faster.

“This new scheme will provide a smooth transition for businesses while reducing our contribution to climate change, crucial as we work towards net zero emissions by 2050.”

Operators will be familiar with the new system, which has been designed to ensure a smooth transition at the end of the year.

Energy intensive industries such as steel, power generation and aviation will have their greenhouse gas emissions capped, and the cap will be reduced over time so that total emissions fall.

Covered companies must surrender enough carbon allowances annually to cover all its emissions, otherwise face fines of up to £100 per allowance.

Around 1,000 UK factories and plants are currently covered by the EU ETS, and would continue to be under the new UK system.

LISTEN: Industrial decarbonisation and hydrogen energy, Prof Joe Howe 

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