Smaller businesses to be exempt from EU ETS

Small emitters and hospitals will be able to opt-out of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) from 2013, the Government has announced.

In response to a consultation, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has made a single regulatory instrument for Phase III of the EU ETS providing a ‘lighter touch’ alternative scheme for smaller businesses.

DECC claims these regulations will simplify the legal requirements for UK EU ETS participants and replace 13 previous sets of EU ETS regulations with a single instrument.

The regulations will be published next week on the DECC website and the Government claims they will address the disproportionately higher administrative costs faced by smaller installations.

The changes in legislation will also see the UK move to an enforcement system comprising solely of civil, rather than criminal sanctions.

This is the first major change to legislation by DECC as a result of the ‘red tape challenge’ environment theme – a campaign aiming to cut red tape which the Government claims can save business at least £1bn over five years.

Minister of State for Climate Change Greg Barker said: “By simplifying the regulations for Phase III of EU ETS, we will save companies money and time, while still allowing them to meet environmental goals.”

“This will mean that smaller businesses, who experience higher costs from complying with the current regulations, that chose to will also be opted out of the system from 2013.”

Conor McGlone

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