The carbon conundrum

The carbon conundrum

There is a cloud of uncertainty over the future of carbon legislation. Policy schemes that have rallied businesses into energy efficiency for years are coming to an end and as yet there is no clear continuation plan.

What’s changing?

In less than a year the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme will finish after nine years in operation. Its aim was to incentivise energy efficiency and cut emissions in the largest energy users in the UK however some would say it didn’t entirely fulfil its objective.

Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) will cease in December 2020 when the final target period ends. CCAs were introduced alongside the Climate Change Levy (CCL), an environmental tax charged on the energy used by businesses. CCAs have two aims, the first to deliver energy efficiency improvements and the second to help business mitigate the cost impact of the CCL.

Whilst not ending completely, the second phase deadline for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is December 2019. This mandatory auditing scheme applies to larger businesses in the UK. Classified as those with at least 250 employees or with a turnover of more than €50,000,000 (and a balance sheet of €43,000,000), these organisations are tasked with auditing 90% of their energy consumption every 4 years.

So, what does the future hold?

With the demise of two key carbon schemes looming there needs to be a replacement, and there is. The proposed Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme is currently under government consultation. Its intended purpose is to replace the CRC and is likely to include those organisations currently in that scheme, however there is little more known about it at this time.

In addition, progress has been made in securing the UK’s continued participation in the EU ETS after we leave the EU. However this is by no means complete.

What do we think should happen?

We asked two key members of our Carbon team to review the current policy landscape, and offer their insight. With a predominant focus on CCAs they have produced a whitepaper, Carbon Legislation and the Future of CCAs.

To download your copy, please click here.

Amy Chambers

Posted by on Wednesday, the 23. May at 14.20