Government fined for breaches of CRC and EU ETS

Government departments and public sector bodies have been fined more than £84,000 for failing to comply with climate change regulations.

The Environment Agency yesterday published a list of organisations it had issued with civil penalties for breaches of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) and the carbon reduction commitment scheme (CRC). 

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) received a £73,161 penalty of after the RAF base at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire failed to surrender enough allowances under the ETS to cover its annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The naval air station at Culdrose in Cornwall was fined £3,823 for missing the deadline for reporting its annual GHG emissions in 2013.

A spokesperson for the MoD said: ‘The MoD takes its environmental and social obligations extremely seriously. We have been working closely with the Environment Agency to address failure to comply with EU ETS targets and this has resulted in reduced penalties at both sites.’ 

North Bristol NHS Trust also failed to surrender allowances under the ETS to cover its GHG emissions each year between 2009 and 2013. It was fined £3,556. Her Majesty’s Prison Service received a £1,699 penalty for not surrendering allowances in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Planning Inspectorate failed to comply with its obligations under the CRC and was fined £2,850 for not submitting a report on its carbon emissions for 2013/14 on time. 

So far, 17 organisations have been fined under the CRC, with another five due to be announced soon, according to a spokesman for the agency. This is the first time a public sector body has been fined under the CRC. The scheme is due to be scrapped in 2019 following a government review of business energy efficiency tax schemes. 

The full list of organisations given civil penalties in the agency’s latest enforcement round are:

EU ETS:

  • Encirc £3,823

Failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover its emissions between 2009 and 2012. 

  • Molson Coors Brewing £1,011

Failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover its emissions by 30 April 2011.

  • SABIC UK Petrochemicals £6,264

Failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover its emissions by 30 April 2009.

  • Cargill £8,118

Failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover its emissions by 30 April 2010.

CRC: 

  • Merkur Casino UK £3,466

Submission of an inaccurate report for the 2012/13 reporting year.

  • Stobart Transport and Distribution £2,957

Submission of an inaccurate report for the 2012/13 reporting year.

Author: 

Catherine Early is a freelance journalist.

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