The UK Government has extended the 2018 EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) compliance deadline from the 15th of March to the 26th of March.
The delay of nearly two weeks will push the deadline back to the day before the UK exits the EU, giving emitters more time to buy and surrender required carbon units ahead of Brexit.
Currently, participants in the ETS are required to monitor their emissions during each calendar year – at the end of this period they then have to surrender one emissions allowance for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent they have emitted into the atmosphere.
The UK Government has said it intends to maintain Monitoring, Reporting and Verification arrangements to ensure continuing transparency over greenhouse gas emissions.
However, it has noted although it hopes to retain access to the UK’s Kyoto Protocol National Registry, this cannot be guaranteed.
It suggests operators should continue to comply with the EU ETS Directive whilst the UK remains a participant but be prepared to leave the system in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.
The government notes they will still have to comply with greenhouse gas emissions Monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements and the new Carbon Emissions Tax after the UK leaves the EU.
Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, said: “The government remain committed to meeting their target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by the year 2050, relative to 1990 levels. The UK also remains strongly committed to achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
“This includes our commitment to carbon pricing as an emissions reduction tool, while ensuring energy and trade intensive businesses are appropriately protected from any detrimental impacts on competitiveness.”
The UK is currently working to set up a domestic ETS for after Brexit.