24. September 2010 12:16
So another voice has been added to the many that are calling for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme to be simplified. However, this is not just any voice, but the influential voice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Its report published today, echoes what various groups, including EEF, have been saying for sometime now, that the scheme is "very complex". The first casualty could be the intended ‘cap and trade’ element, which the CCC recommends should be scrapped. This is music to my ears, as I believe this part of CRC will merely add unnecessary costs and complexity burden onto businesses without significant reductions of carbon emissions. Indeed increased costs to manufacturing companies that are still struggling out of a deep recession.
Government must not under estimate the importance of combining a carbon tax with Greenhouse Gas reporting, in driving change within organisations. There should be a greater focus on the reporting element of the scheme, centred on Defra’s carbon reporting guidelines, published last year. This should not be a wasted opportunity for Defra to promote a uniformed reporting methodology across sectors.
The CCC calls for a splitting the League Table into public and private sectors. Of course this is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t go far enough. The government must enable companies to highlight the positive steps they are taking to reduce emissions. This good news narrative must be positioned at the forefront of the table, rather than a focus on absolute emissions. The current narrow focus of the League Table will lead to false results and will not acted as a driver for organisations to become more carbon efficient throughout their operations.
A simple change that government must make as soon as possible, one that would reduce the administrative burden significantly, would be to remove the requirement for organisations not caught by the scheme, to positively prove that they are exempt.
This is certainly one to keep watching and I am pleased to see that the voice of manufacturing is being heard within this debate in today’s Telegraph.