FILE PHOTO: Small toy figure is seen in front of UK and European Union displayed flags in this illustration picture, October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
(Reuters) – The United Kingdom has put forward its own new UK-wide Emissions Trading System (ETS) to replace the European Union’s system for trading carbon emissions, which Britain will leave at the end of this year as the Brexit transition period ends.
The UK-wide ETS, which will put a cost on carbon pollution to encourage polluters to reduce the greenhouse gases they emit, includes plans to cut the present emissions cap by 5%, Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement.
The United Kingdom has a target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Emissions trading systems work by setting a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted from certain sectors, with the cap being reduced over time so that total emissions fall.
“After each year, every covered company must surrender enough carbon allowances – each representing tonnes of carbon dioxide – to cover all its emissions, or additional fines of up to £100 per allowance are imposed,” the department said.
About one-third of UK emissions and nearly 1,000 UK factories and plants are currently covered by the EU ETS and will continue to be covered by the UK system, according to the statement.
The British government said on Monday it would be open to considering a link between a UK ETS and the EU ETS “if it suits both sides’ interests”.
“This is subject to the ongoing trade negotiations between the UK and EU,” the government said.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Giles Elgood