UK may import offsets to meet its commitment

Posted on May 20, 2011 by

Following up on its commitment to halve its carbon footprint by 2025, the UK could import carbon credits outside of EU carbon market to offset its emissions. Although the government is yet to confirm if offsets to meet non ETS goals (over the 2013-2022 period) is in line with UK laws, it has however confirmed that offsets could be used from 2023 to 2027 in the UK’s Fourth Carbon Budget.

“Government will aim to reduce emissions domesti­cally as far as practical and affordable, but also intends to keep open the option of trading in order to retain maxi­mum flexibility and minimize costs in the medium-long term,” said UK climate minister Chris Huhne in a speech announcing the commitment to parliament on Tuesday.

The decision, expected to be passed by parliament, was not in line with the advice of the independent Committee on Climate Change, which recommended the UK meet its non ETS target internally without buying offsets from abroad.

This government’s decision however, will not be applicable to the industrial and power sectors that have been covered in the EU ETS, which accounts for around 40 per cent of UK’s emission and has provided offset limits agreed up to 2020 by all member states.

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