Monday, 13 October 2008

Legislation Update

- In a UK Cabinet reshuffle on October 3rd the UK Prime Minister created the Department of Energy and Climate Change "to give an even greater focus to solving the twin challenges of climate change and energy supply". It brings together the Climate Change Group from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the Energy Group from BERR (the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and is expected to handle responsibility for emissions trading and future climate change negotiations. Ed Miliband is the secretary of State for the new Department and he is joined by Mike O’Brien, Joan Ruddock and Lord Hunt. It's clearly a good idea to bring together the issues of climate change and energy, but a quick search suggests that only Joan Ruddock has any climate change/sustainability background.

- Britain's first auction of carbon emissions permits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be on November 19. A total of 85 million tonnes of EU allowances (7% of the UK's total) will be available for auction in Phase II of the scheme, which lasts through to 2012. The size of this sale and their future frequency will be announced in November. Companies have to be registered this month to take part in the auction.

- The European Parliament more-or-less held its line on the future of the ETS after 2013 by voting in favour of auctioning all permits for power generation and 15% for energy-intensive industries, rising to 100% by 2020 when the EU ETS third phase ends. The delay for power generation sectors was in response to objections from Poland and other countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania) that rely heavily on coal for electricity production.

- However, in what might be seen as a move in the other direction, The Observer newspaper in the UK reported on October 12th that the EU is to debate the possibility of reducing the cost of carbon allowances to large European companies. The reason is a fear of jobs leaving the EU because of lack of investment caused by the compliance cost of the ETS, particularly in the current economic climate.

© The Green IT Review

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