Saturday 28 November 2015 | 07:37


All UK organisations need to be aware of the current and planned future legislation relating to climate change. 

The key current legislation is as follows:

Kyoto Protocol 1997

The Kyoto Protocol developed from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), which was signed by approx. 165 countries at the Rio Summit in 1992. The protocol, which officially came into force in 2005, sets statutory limits on emissions of six greenhouse gases from developed countries. The EU has a target of reducing emissions by 8% on 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The UK’s target is a reduction of 12.5% in the same period. This Kyoto agreement was made in 1997 and became legally binding in Feb 2005. The Kyoto Protocol is the first such global treaty on climate change. 

UK Government Climate Change Bill

This Bill was updated in March 2007 and sets reduction targets in CO2 emissions against 1990 levels. It was implemented in the UK following pressure from various environmental groups. The key target is a reduction in UK CO2 emissions of 60% by 2050.

EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)

This was implemented in Jan 2005 and is now in its second period of trading. It represents the largest compulsory cap and trade scheme in existence and applies to energy intensity business (11,500 across EU such as within the mineral or pulp and paper industries). Companies are allocated allowances and must ensure that at the end of the year they have enough allowances to account for their emissions. Companies can trade allowances, purchasing additional ones to cover extra emissions or selling any surplus. 

Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007

This piece of legislation encourages energy efficiency on buildings and detail relates to air conditioning systems, registration, certification and planning applications. This legislation only affects buildings less than 12 years old.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is a compulsory trading scheme aimed at non-energy intensive organisations in the UK. The legislation commences April 2010 and seeks to encourage more efficient use of energy across the public and private sectors.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is a mandatory scheme for all organisations that qualify; organisations will have to measure and report their energy use, with an importance on working to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will affect up to 5,000 organisations, who qualify as full participants based on their electricity usage. An organisation qualifies as a full participant if it has at least one half-hourly electricity meter (HHM) and consumed over 6,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) over the 2008 qualifying year.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme has been developed by the UK Government, Devolved Administrators and the regulating bodies are the Environment Agency, SEPA (Scotland) and NIEA (Northern Ireland). The penalties for non registration, late registration and providing inaccurate data are significant and include prosecution and heavy fines.

If you are interested in finding out more on how we can help manage your CRC Obligation simply call us on 0844 873 1034. Also see our section on the CRC here.