DEFRA carbon initiatives break ground

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Courtesy of Accruent

Say what you like about their propensity for acronyms, but the British have also made significant strides forward in the arena of climate change recently.

To better approach the situation, they combined DEFRA and BERR within the DECC and then proceeded to make a significant step forward with the first issue of legally binding legislation within a national carbon trading scheme.

There has been a significant shift in the way of thinking as a consequence of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, born out of the Climate Change Act of 2008 and the result of a unified DEFRA carbon approach to the issue. The Commitment signifies an innovative approach to climate change and energy saving and the enactment of a number of 'carbon budgets.'

It seems that the British government was able to work outside of traditional European Union constraints when they initiated the current DEFRA carbon scheme. Should it be successful, it is likely that this program will be mirrored in many parts of the developed world as well.

In a new era, carbon will become a commodity and will have an established price per ton. The British government is at pains to point out that those who are forced to participate in the Carbon Reduction Commitment will enjoy a net financial benefit in this new arena. They maintain a significant incentive will now be available should an organization reduce its carbon emissions.

Those who participate in the UK government's DEFRA carbon scheme are likely to realize benefits in the region of around $1 billion over the next 10 years or so. The Treasury Department points out that there will be no net revenues to the UK's version of the Treasury Department as all income will be recycled back to participants.

If, as a participant, you are not able to perform well as part of the DEFRA carbon project, the UK government will not be slow to tell everyone else about it. While there are benefits for those who over-achieve, those who under-achieve as part of the Carbon Reduction Commitment will see results published as part of a league table, available for all to see.

Somewhere in the region of 5,000 organizations across the United Kingdom must actively participate as part of a group of some 20,000 who will be impacted in one way or another. The active group must document their carbon liabilities and purchase a relevant amount of allowances from the government as they take part.

By the year 2050, the UK plans to have made huge reductions in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions across the country. Significant goals are set and commencing in April of 2010, the first goal is to reduce carbon equivalent emissions of at least 4MTCO2 per year within 10 years. This would be a reduction of 26% compared to a 1990 baseline and considered vital in the fight against global warming and climate change.

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