Today, the Government will publish legislation for a short extension to the deadline for UK operators participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to surrender their emission allowances for the 2018 scheme year.
The Government remains committed to meeting its target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent 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, whilst ensuring energy and trade intensive businesses are appropriately protected from any detrimental impacts on competitiveness.
Our participation in the EU ETS has shown the benefits of carbon pricing, which gives emitters a choice to reduce their emissions where it is economic to do so, achieving our environmental goals in the least-cost way to society. The EU ETS covers around 1000 installations and approximately 140 aircraft operators in the UK. Across the EU ETS, the scheme covers around 45% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.
EU ETS participants are required to monitor their emissions during each calendar year, and at the end of each reporting year, surrender one emissions allowance for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) they have emitted, to meet their EU ETS obligations.
This legislation would extend the deadline for UK operators to surrender allowances from 15 March 2019 to 26 March 2019. The deadline for UK operators to report their 2018 emissions to their regulator remains 11 March 2019.
This short extension to the deadline to surrender allowances would allow all UK operators additional time to meet their EU ETS compliance requirements. UK operators would still be able to surrender allowances to meet their 2018 compliance obligations on any date before 26 March 2019.
This extension does not change the requirement for all UK operators to comply fully with their obligations under the EU ETS.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords