The head of Energy UK is calling on the government to retain “strong” carbon pricing following Brexit.
Chief Executive Lawrence Slade told ELN the carbon price support and the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) have “really helped” drive investment in low carbon technologies in the UK.
A carbon price is a cost applied to carbon pollution to encourage polluters to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere.
The UK’s carbon price is currently made up of two levies – a domestic carbon tax set at £18/ton, which is paid on top of obligations under the EU ETS, which works as a ‘cap and trade’ system so there is a limit set to the total greenhouse gases emitted by organisations covered by the system and this can be converted into tradable emission allowances.
Mr Slade said the energy industry in the UK needs clarity and action from government as it finalises the Brexit agreement.
He added: “It’s real clarity and it’s the acceptance of the fact that actually the status quo that we have in energy around carbon pricing, around how interconnectors works for both the UK and Europe. So actually, the best thing for us is to keep that in place as there’s clear benefits for everyone.
“If we haven’t got that then we need very quick guidance and clarity over what is going to happen. You can’t replace things like the EU ETS overnight, however much you might like to think you can, you can’t. They took years to bring it into place and we haven’t got that time and investors need certainty, the industry needs certainty if we’re going to bring in those billions of pounds we need to continue building a low carbon economy.”
The Energy UK chief also told ELN there must be an understanding of how the trading of power and gas will work as that could have an effect on consumers’ energy bills.
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