No room for complacency in changing climate, says UK Environment Minister
Businesses have found more opportunities to improve energy efficiency, Environment Minister Phil Woolas told Parliament last week.
The Minister’s comments follow the release of a new DEFRA report – Parliament on the UK Climate Change Programme – which take a close look at the effect of the government’s Climate Change Agreements.
“We have seen continued improvement across all sectors in Climate Change Agreements, with nearly all facilities having their Climate Change Levy discounts renewed.”
Climate Change Agreements are voluntary agreements with 51 energy-intensive sectors covering around 10,000 facilities. The operators of these facilities pay a reduced rate (20%) of the Climate Change Levy in return for meeting challenging energy efficiency targets.
DEFRA says that 32 out of the 49 sectors covered met their targets outright, and in a further 10 sectors all the facilities had their Climate Change Levy discounts renewed.
In total, 99% of facilities (9830) were recertified through meeting their own targets or because their sector met its target.
461 facilities left the agreements or did not report, probably due to closure. Another 23 were decertified because they failed to meet their targets, according to DEFRA results.
“Climate Change Agreements are continuing to cut carbon dioxide emissions in a wide range of energy-intensive sectors…[the agreements are] securing a saving of 16.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide last year,” said Mr Woolas.
“However, there’s no room for complacency. Although almost all sectors have improved their energy efficiency performance, and most have saved energy overall, it’s going to be increasingly tough for many businesses to keep meeting their targets unless they find new and additional opportunities to save energy.”
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