A total of 33 companies have been fined more than £27 million by the Environment Agency for breaching climate change schemes in place to ensure the UK reaches its 2050 net zero emissions target.
The fines cover the 2020/21 financial year for breaches of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas scheme.
Under the EU ETS, companies running power plants and energy firms were fined after under-reporting their emissions for a specific year whilst others failed to submit the necessary reports outlining their emissions for a specific year.
Under the Climate Change Agreements scheme, brewing and automotive companies are among those fined after failing to sufficiently reduce their energy use and carbon dioxide emissions – having signed up for a voluntary agreement with the Environment Agency which entitled them to a discount on the Climate Change Levy for doing so.
With regards to ESOS, firms including those involved in insurance and the manufacture of machinery have been fined for failing to complete audits of the energy used by their business and failing to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.
Liz Parkes, Deputy Director for Climate Change at the Environment Agency said: “These schemes are an important part of the nation’s efforts to reduce emissions and hit net zero by 2050.
“The fines published today should serve as an important reminder for all organisations to ensure that they are compliant with these schemes and are playing their part in tackling climate change.”