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Detail of outcome
The government response to this document was published on 13 December 2013.
This is a consultation on a number of technical amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012 so as to simplify and harmonize EU ETS penalties in the transition to Phase III, improve clarity and reduce the burden for businesses.
Phase III of the EU ETS, which runs from 2013 to 2020, started in January. Phase III has seen the introduction of a number of measures aiming to broaden and strengthen the environmental ambitions of the scheme, as set out in the revised EU ETS Directive (2009/29/EC). The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012 (the 2012 Regulations) implemented these measures in the UK by fully transposing the revised EU ETS Directive into domestic law. These Regulations also consolidated and replaced previous EU ETS legislation.
As a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Kingdom is required to report its emissions of greenhouse gases. The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) and National Emissions Inventory Regulations 2005 (the Inventory Regulations) make provision for the collection of data for the purpose of preparing the national inventory.
The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme and National Emissions Inventory (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which will amend the 2012 and Inventory Regulations to:
Clarify the level of civil penalties to be imposed on operators carrying out unauthorised EU ETS activities and the discretion available to regulators to waive or reduce such penalties;
Bring the penalty for under-reporting EU ETS emissions prior to 2013 into line with the penalty from 2013, enabling regulators to impose a lower level of civil penalty, or even waive a penalty entirely, where operators self-report and surrender the requisite number of allowances;
Implement the EU’s 2013 Registries Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 389/2013 of 2 May 2013); and
Replace the National Emissions Inventory’s system of criminal sanctions with a civil penalty scheme and remove the associated powers of entry.
The opportunity has also been taken to carry out some minor corrections required to the 2012 Regulations, including typographical errors and erroneous references.