Rural and Environment
UK Emissions Trading Scheme
Commenting on the UK Government’s decision to commit to a UK Emissions Trading Scheme with the devolved administrations, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“I welcome this long overdue decision to commit to a UK Emissions Trading Scheme with the devolved administrations. It is testament to our persistent efforts, together with partners in Wales and Northern Ireland, in making the case for the clear benefits of a UK ETS and stressing the unacceptable threats to the devolution settlement posed by an alternative, reserved Carbon Emissions Tax.
“I am pleased that we can now finalise plans to implement a UK ETS from 1 January. A UK ETS is the most effective tool currently available to reach our common goal of decarbonising the traded sector and contributing towards our respective net zero targets.
“Implementing the scheme across the UK will demonstrate our commitment to international climate action, ahead of the COP26 negotiations being hosted in Glasgow .
“It is important to remain part of an EU-wide market to ensure cost effective decarbonisation and I expect the UK Government to continue to seek an agreement with the European Union to link the scheme to the EU ETS – regardless of wider EU trade negotiations.
“Scotland’s commitment to ending our contribution to climate change is unwavering, and this decision – relating to 28% of our greenhouse gas emissions – forms a key component of our forward strategy. It means we can finalise our Climate Change Plan update based on a UK ETS being established at the end of the Brexit Transition period, as advised by the UK Committee on Climate Change in August 2019.
“I have committed to work with the UK Government and the other devolved administrations to reform the UK ETS in light of the role of carbon pricing in meeting our net zero targets. We will consult within nine months of the CCC’s advice received on 9 December on tightening the UK ETS cap towards net zero, and will review expanding the scope of the UK ETS to include other sectors – with the advice of the CCC.
“As I set out last week, many key policy levers for decarbonisation remain reserved, and a more ambitious UK-wide approach will be critical in achieving Scotland’s goals. Tackling climate change must be a shared local, national and global endeavour and those in positions of power, including the UK Government, must begin to show leadership on the most critical issue of this generation.”
“I have also this morning noted the UK Government’s announcement on new nuclear projects. We do not believe there will be a future energy gap that only nuclear power can fill. Scotland has the resources and capacity to meet all of our electricity needs and would prefer to see the funding announced for nuclear projects going towards work that improves the ability of renewable generation, energy storage, and other truly safe and clean technologies to support a secure and resilient energy system.”