16. June 2011 15:41
With the current Defra consultation on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reporting soon to close; EEF has discussed our initial thoughts with government on the options put forward within the consultation.
Defra has made it clear that it does not have a preferred option for GHG reporting that it wants to ‘gather views from businesses and other interested parties prior to taking that decision’. It was also made clear that reducing regulation is a ‘key priority for the government’.
It is encouraging to hear that other stakeholders share the same view expressed previously by EEF - that government should look at the bigger picture and consider reporting alongside the crowded suite of climate change policies that are already in place, namely the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme. This is the perfect opportunity to conduct such a review – when government is seeking ways to simplify the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, and will be consulting on the future of Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) some time in July.
However, is anyone in government capitalising on this timing? EEF argue this is an opportunity for government to act on its key priority and reduce some regulation, by replacing the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme with mandatory reporting that follows it previously published reporting guidelines. This option would use the current CRC energy threshold, of targeting organisation that are supplied with more than 6,000 MWh, as its criteria.
Keeping this flexible, by allowing companies to choose the approach that is best for them - and using Defra’s already well received guidance for reporting on GHGs - it will tick a number of boxes: reduced regulatory burden; reduced costs (both for companies and government); evolution of best practice through flexibility in approach; increased investor confidence; transparency in measurement; and increased competitiveness.
EEF will continue to lobby this point of view at further meetings with Defra officials over the coming weeks – ahead of the 5th July close of the consultation.
14. June 2011 16:33
Defra has today published its review of waste policies. Announcing the publication at a CIWM event this afternoon, Secretary of State for Defra, Caroline Spelman, said:
“For too long, we’ve lagged behind the rest of Europe, although we are catching up fast. Communities and businesses can help us become a first-class zero-waste economy and unlock the real value in the goods that people no longer want.”
Although mainly focussed on domestic waste policy, there are particular aspects relating to business that EEF welcome – such as supporting energy from waste where appropriate, and for waste which cannot be recycled, and a greater focus on how business can benefit from improved resource efficiency. Of course, Defra could have been bolder in trying to address C&I waste. For too long it has been in the shadows.
I would say that on the whole this is a welcome step forward in the government’s approach to business waste. Many of the issues which have concerned business, especially smaller companies have been addressed and measures to aid collection of their waste and reduce regulation and costs are welcome. The proposals to support waste from energy that cannot be recycled is an especially bold move, although the issue of costs compared to landfill and access new capacity may remain an issue and therefore regional planning will be paramount.
We look forward to working with government to make these proposals happen.