Carbon pollution

Food and drink leaders have welcomed a new government White Paper on energy use, published today, after it appeared to rule out plans for a new carbon tax.

The government held a consultation over the summer on what sort of system should replace the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) post-Brexit.

It said it would replace the system either with a UK-based ETS or a carbon tax.

Today’s White Paper confirmed the government had chosen the former route.

It sets out plans for “establishing a UK Emissions Trading Scheme from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU ETS at the end of the transition period”.

A government spokesman said it would be “the world’s first net-zero carbon cap and trade market, and a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s target for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050”.

“The publication of the energy White Paper is welcome and ambitious,” said the FDF’s head of climate change and energy policy, Emma Piercy.

We are pleased to see that the government has confirmed the replacement of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will be a UK Emissions Trading Scheme – an initiative the FDF has continually called for to maintain investor confidence in the regulatory framework on decarbonisation.

“Businesses need clear direction and support, and so as we look forward, we now hope to see further clarity on whether the UK ETS will be directly linked to the EU ETS, which is still dependent on the negotiation terms of a Brexit deal.”