Companies fined for failing on ETS

Civil penalties have been issued against four companies which failed to play by the rules during the first year of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Environment Agency is seeking a total of over £750,000 from Alphasteel, Scandstick, Daniel Platt, and Mars (UK) claiming the companies failed to properly account for their carbon emissions.

The EU ETS targets provides financial incentives for industry to become more efficient and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change.

At the end of 2005, operators were given until the April 30, 2006 to acquire enough allowances to cover their emissions for the year and the EU Directive which governs the system, member states must impose civil penalties on installations of ¬40 for each tonne of carbon dioxide they emitted which they failed to have accredit for.

By far an away the biggest offender was Alphasteel, a steel recycling company based in South Wales, which failed to surrender any allowances at all for its emissions and will be fined £564,000.

Daniel Platt, a ceramic tile company from Stoke-on-Trent, will be required to pay £122,000, Mars (UK) trading as Masterfoods, will pay £52,000 and Scandstick, an adhesive products company in Cambridgeshire, will pay £19,600.

The Environment Agency's chief executive, Barbara Young said: "The European Emissions Trading Scheme is our most important mechanism for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change - so it's vital that everyone plays by the rules.

"The Stern Review explained unequivocally that if we do not reduce emissions by at least 60% over the next 40 years, the cost in both human and economic terms will be catastrophic.

"The Environment Agency has successfully invested a lot of time and effort engaging with industrial operators to ensure a rigorous, consistent and effective approach to regulating the EU ETS. As a result, more than 99% of operators in England and Wales met their obligations during the first year of the scheme and these companies should be commended.

"Unfortunately 4 companies out of 535 in England and Wales failed to surrender sufficient carbon dioxide allowances by the due date to cover their emissions. This is the cornerstone of the scheme. As such they are liable to automatic civil penalties."

Sam Bond



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