My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

United Kingdom Climate Change Programme




United Kingdom
energy related articles
Government energy policy
Energy use and conservation
Nuclear power
Solar power
Wind power
Energy efficiency in housing
Climate Change Programme

The United Kingdom's Climate Change Programme was launched in November 2000 by the British government in response to its commitment agreed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The 2000 programme [1] was updated in March 2006 following a review [2] launched in September 2004.

In 2004, the UK was the world's 8th greatest producer of carbon emissions, producing around 2.3% of the total generated from fossil fuels.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Aim and progress

 

See also: Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom

The aims of the programme is not only to cut all greenhouse gas emissions by the agreed 12.5% from 1990 levels in the period 2008 to 2012 (the international kyoto commitment), but to go beyond this by cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2010.

When the original programme was published in 2000, it confirmed that UK emissions were already forecast to be around 15% lower by 2010.

As of March 2006, government projections (and in fact official energy policy of the United Kingdom) state that by 2010 the UK will have reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by about 15-18% below 1990 levels, thus missing the government's internal target but achieving its Kyoto Protocol target, with a projected reduction of emissions from the basket of all greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide) of about 23-25% from 1990 levels [3].

2000 Climate Change Programme

The stated strategies of the 2000 programme were to:

  • Improve business’ use of energy, stimulate investment and cut costs;
  • Stimulate new, more efficient sources of power generation;
  • Cut emissions from the transport sector;
  • Promote better energy efficiency in the domestic sector, saving householders money;
  • Improve the energy efficiency requirements of the building regulations;
  • Continue cutting emissions from agriculture;
  • Ensure the public sector took a leading role.

Government actions

The following are among the actions taken to implement the strategy:

Climate Change Bill

On March 13, 2007, a draft Climate Change Bill was published following cross-party pressure over several years, led by environmental groups. The Bill aims to put in place a framework to achieve a mandatory 60% cut in the UK's carbon emissions by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels), with an intermediate target of between 26% and 32% by 2020.[1] If approved, the United Kingdom is likely to become the first country to set such a long-range and significant carbon reduction target into law.

Climate Change levy

Current actions aimed at achieving these targets include a Climate Change Levy on all non-domestic energy bills, typically raising them by 8% to 10%. The Climate Change Levy however is offset by corresponding reductions in Employers' National Insurance Contributions (NICs) having a net zero effect on the tax burden on UK businesses.

Introduced on April 1, 2001, the levy applies to all 'traditional' energy sources, and the funds raised are collected by HM Revenue and Customs.

Renewables Obligation

Introduced on April 1, 2002, the Renewables Obligation requires all electricity suppliers who supply electricity to end consumers to supply a set portion of their electricity from eligible renewables sources; a proportion that will increase each year until 2015 from a 3% requirement in 2002-2003, via 10.4% in 2010-2012 up to 15.4% by 2015-2016. The UK Government announced in the 2006 Energy Review an additional target of 20% by 2020-21. For each eligible megawatt hour of renewable energy generated, a tradable certificate called a renewables obligation certificate(ROC) is issued by OFGEM.

On or before 31 September following the RO year (1 Apr - 31 Mar) Suppliers can meet their Renewables Obligation by:

  • acquiring and redeeming ROCs,
  • paying a buy-out price equivalent to £33.24/megawatt hour in 2006/07 and rising each year with retail price index;or
  • a combination of redeeming ROCs and paying the buy-out price.

When a supplier meets all or part of its obligation by paying the buy-out price for each MWh of it's obligation not discharged by the redemption of ROCs, the money is put into a holding account called the buy-out fund. The buy-out fund is recycled before 1 November to those electricity suppliers who presented ROCs against their Renewables Obligation. This 'recycling' is distributed equally for each ROC redeemed, those suppliers who did not redeem any ROCs will receive no 'recycling' from the buy-out fund.

The renewables obligation also makes requirements about how the electricity can be generated. An example is that the co-firing of biomass with coal is to be phased out - and will not be eligible for Renewable Obligation Certificates after 2016 (although the government has announced its intention to revisit the co-firing rules as part of the 2006 Energy Review).

The renewables transport fuel obligation is a separate law, which although is not in force yet, is set to become law. It would require bio-ethanol and bio-diesel to be added to road fuel, up to a limit of 2 or 5.75%. The land required for this would be considerable. It has been estimated (by the NFU) that the biomass could be grown by using all of the UKs net wheat exports, and growing wheat on 1,200 square kilometres of land.
While this may look like a large amount, it is achievable.

Housing and community grants

Grants to assist with the installation of renewable energy sources in domestic properties and for community groups were made available through the Clear Skies organisation, and the Major Photovoltaics Demonstration programme. In 2006 these were replaced by the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP).

Carbon Reduction Commitment

The Carbon Reduction Commitment is a proposed mandatory cap and trade scheme, announced in May 2007, that will apply to large non energy-intensive organisations in the public and private sectors, including hotel chains, supermarkets, banks, central government and large Local Authorities. It is anticipated that the scheme will have cut carbon emissions by 1.2 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020.[2]

The CRC scheme will apply to organisations that have a mandatory half-hourly metered electricity consumption greater than 6,000 MWh per year. This roughly equates to an electricity bill above £500,000 (US$1,000,000), although it would apply to emissions from direct energy use as well as electricity purchased.[3]

Nottingham Declaration

Although not part of the central government programme, in local government, a growing number of councils have signed up to the Nottingham Declaration, launched on October 25, 2000, committing them to work towards reducing emissions.

See also

Energy Portal
  • Climate of the United Kingdom
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006
  • Economy of the United Kingdom
  • Renewables obligation certificates
  • Campaign against Climate Change (UK pressure group)
  • Stop Climate Chaos (UK pressure group)
  • Rising Tide UK (UK climate change activist network)
  • London Climate Change Agency
  • UK topics


References

  1. ^ New Bill and strategy lay foundations for tackling climate change, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, published 13 March 2007, accessed 13 March 2007.
  2. ^ Action in the UK - Carbon Reduction Commitment, DEFRA, published 2007-05-23, accessed 2007-05-23
  3. ^ 2007 Energy White Paper: Meeting the Energy Challenge, Department of Trade and Industry, published 2007-05-23, accessed 2007-05-25
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "United_Kingdom_Climate_Change_Programme". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE