New GHG Regs to amend ETS rules

8th May 2012


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  • Reporting ,
  • Carbon Trading

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IEMA

Organisations in breach of EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) legislation will no longer face criminal prosecutions under new greenhouse-gas (GHG) Regulations

In the draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System Regulations, put out to consultation today (8 May 2012), EU ETS participants found to have falsely reported their emissions output or failing to comply with enforcement notices will no longer be prosecuted through the criminal courts.

Currently those found guilty of offences under the 2005 GHG Regulations face up to two years in prison and fines of up to £5,000, but under the new Regulations, due to be enforced this year, the whole trading scheme will be regulated through civil sanctions alone, save participating organisations a potential £1 million in fines.

The new Regulations will also consolidate existing UK legislation enforcing the EU ETS, replacing 13 sets of regulations, and transposing amendments to the scheme brought in by the revised EU ETS Directive (2009/29/EC). New provisions will allow hospitals and organisations producing less than 25,000 tonnes of CO2 a year to opt out of the EU ETS from Phase III, which will start in 2013.

According to DECC the Regulations are the first major change to environmental legislation as a result of the government’s “red tape challenge”. Energy and climate change minister, Greg Barker, said: “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.”
Dr Anne-Marie Warris, chair of the UK’s Emissions Trading Group welcomed the government’s efforts to simplify the Regulations. “We shall be encouraging our members to respond to this consultation and will be continuing our discussions with government on the development of their simplification proposals.”
DECC’s consultation on the draft Regulations closes on 31 July.

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