Preparing for the CRCUnited Kingdom
Tony Grayling, head of climate change and sustainable development at the Environment Agency, talks about his perspective on the approach of the Carbon Reduction Commitment
With just over a month before the Carbon Reduction commitment (CRC) registration deadline, less than half of the companies expected to report their energy use have done so. As head of climate change at sustainable development at the Environment Agency, Tony Grayling is the lead official in administrating the scheme.
Kai Tabacek asks whether he is concerned by the delay...
How many organisations have registered for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme so far?
About 1,400 full participants have now registered, and about 5,000 information declarers. The 1,400 figure is the most important figure because those are the organisations that cross the threshold of 6,000MWh of electricity consumption, which means that they'll be full participants in the scheme.
Has the rate of registration increased?
It's going, it's steady and it's what we expect when we're introducing a scheme. The important thing is that we know that most, if not all, of the other organisations that will need to be participants are getting ready to register because they've been in touch with us through our helpdesk. So we're pretty confident that we will, by the 30 September deadline, be in the process of having most if not all of the participants onboard.
So you're expecting a flurry of activity towards the deadline?
Yes, I think that's inevitable actually. It's also important to note that this is a scheme that's being phased in over three years. This is an introductory year - it's a year for registering and reporting on energy use and emissions only, and there is no requirement to buy or to register allowances this year.
Are you expecting a flurry of fines as well, or will you be lenient to begin with, as your website suggests?
Our aim is that there won't be a need to fine anyone for not registering. Our clear message is that if you're making genuine efforts to comply with registration you shouldn't have any fear of facing civil penalties. Obviously on the other hand if you've got large organisations who should know better deliberately not registering then in the end we would pursue them, but that is not our agenda at the present time.
We know there's an extremely high level of awareness about this scheme in out target sector. Over 90% of public and private sector organisations who will be participants in the scheme are aware of it, according to the survey work that we have done. We've put a lot of effort into communication about the scheme, and workshops and help lines.
So what is holding back so many of the organisations?
I think it is the natural tendency of people and organisations to work toward deadlines. I think it's partly because these are large, complex organisations and they are collecting the information that they will need to register. This is the first time that they have had to do it of course and it always takes a bit more effort first time around to understand the rules and collect the information.
There is a recent survey by the Carbon Trust Standard covering finance managers in companies with 500+ employees. Three quarters of them said their company had not yet counted its carbon footprint. That's concerning isn't it?
That is a concern. I think what the scheme will do over time is to raise this issue to the board level of organisations so that financial directors are becoming much more directly aware of the carbon costs of their business' activities, and indeed the benefits to them of reducing those costs. I do think that is a concern but it's precisely to address that kind of concern that the CRC has been established.
Do you think that deadline may have been too soon or the process too complex?
Well the registration window is a six month period so I wouldn't describe that as too soon. I think a lot of the complexity of the scheme is actually around the complexity of the organisations that will be part of it. These are very large organisations, often subdivided into different subsidiaries ... (and they) have some choice about how they join. They can enroll as one very big organisation or parent company or they can disaggregate into different units. Then you've different organisational forms such as public-private partnerships.
Another misconception going around … (is that the scheme is a) tax, which it isn't. All of the money that is raised in future years will actually be recycled to the participating organisations. There will be an incentive within that, a bonus and penalty scheme so that if you're a good performer in the scheme you'll get more money back than you put in, and if you're a poor performer (you'll get) less money back than you put in, but the Exchequer isn't making any money out of it.
About this email that was registered urging companies to register even if they fear there may be inaccuracies in their reporting. Isn't there a risk that the targets that this whole scheme is supposed to achieve won't be real? We don't want companies and public sector organisations to submit inaccurate information. The message we're trying to get across is that if you making genuine efforts to work with us to submit accurate information then we won't be pursuing you for civil penalties. We do accept that some companies may inadvertently make mistakes in their submissions and we'll work with them to correct those. This is just a registering and reporting introductory year which is going to set a baseline. By the time companies report on their energy use next year they will be on the correct footing then we will have a solid baseline on which the scheme will be founded for future years.
Anything to add?
The extra fact I might throw in is that although you're correct in saying that 1,400 organisations is probably between a third and a half of the (organisation expected to have to register in the) scheme, it covers far more than that in terms of emissions coverage because many of the organisations who have registered are the very large organisations. If you look at in terms of the proportion of so called half hourly meters we expect the scheme to cover, then we're well over half way even now.
El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.
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