Fifteen industries sign climate change agreements

Fifteen energy-intensive industries have signed climate change agreements with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), allowing companies an 80% discount on the Climate Change Levy due to come into effect on 1 April this year.

According to the DETR, the sectors involved range from maltsters to two of the biggest energy users, the cement and steel industries, and from motor manufacturers to mineral wool producers. Each has agreed specific targets for the cutting of emissions by 2010, with interim two year targets designed to measure progress.

Business contributed nearly 30% to total UK emissions in 2000, according to the DETR. Its role is vital in helping the UK achieve Kyoto targets to cut overall emissions by 12.5% on 1990 levels and carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.

“We all can do our bit to tackle climate change, the greatest environmental threat we face,” said Environment Minister Michael Meacher. “I am delighted we have reached agreement with these sectors. These commitments represent cuts in carbon emissions of 600,000 tonnes of carbon per annum by 2010. Over the next few weeks I expect to conclude agreements with the other eligible sectors.”

“All of the sectors involved have worked hard and demonstrated their commitment to improve their energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” added Meacher. “This will not only benefit the environment, but help give them a competitive edge as we move towards an era when carbon based energy becomes more scarce and inevitably more expensive.”

The UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) says that it too expects to sign a climate change agreement with the DETR soon, which will cover 200 participants, and saving over 1 million tonnes of carbon.

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