Carbon emissions fall under climate change agreements

Industries covered by climate change agreements (CCA) cut carbon dioxide emissions by 16.4 million tonnes in 2006 compared to sector baselines, the Environment Department (DEFRA) said on Monday

Thirty-two of the 49 sectors covered by the voluntary agreements met their energy efficiency and carbon savings targets, according to DEFRA’s assessment of the third target period up to 2006. Facilities which meet absolute or relative CCA targets can claim up to 80% reductions in the climate change levy.

Slightly less than half of the emissions savings – some 7 MtCO2 – were in addition to those savings projected under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario. By 2010, annual savings from CCAs in addition to BAU savings were originally estimated to reach 9.2 MtCO2 but DEFRA now expects the figure to be just 7MtCO2 because higher energy prices will drive down emissions, regardless of the agreements.

However, a shift towards “short run, quick response production” and “thinner, lighter” and “more complex” products is increasing the energy intensity of UK manufacturing. “Manufacturers need to accommodate increased energy intensity within their targets,” says DEFRA.

Some 9,830 facilities – or 99% of those covered by CCAs – have been re-certified. These include all target units within 41 sectors. Although the aerospace, foundries and printing sectors did not meet their overall targets, almost all of these facilities were re-certified because they met individual targets either outright or through measures such as purchasing allowances under the UK emissions trading scheme (UKETS).

In the steel sector, CCA targets for three facilities were tightened to take account of the EUETS, and 793 ktCO2 of allowances had to be purchased to meet them. The sector accounted for 7.3 of the 16.4 MtCO2 savings.

Other key findings for the third period include:

  • 461 facilities left agreements or did not report.
  • Emissions increased in the glass, packaging and industrial film, slag grinding, rendering, meat, mineral wool, fletton ceramics and craft baking industries.
  • Only 0.4 MtCO2 of allowances were verified for sale, while 3.5 MtCO2 of surplus allowances were ring-fenced for possible future use.