Energy Efficiency Reduction Bill a Benchmark for Others?
The pressure has been growing on individual companies, producers and emitters of greenhouse gases to try and restrict the output. Up until this time, it has been voluntary to report carbon emissions but legal initiatives are now underway to make this mandatory. A carbon reduction bill has already been put in place in the UK and may soon come out in the US.
The Carbon Reduction Commitment is in the process of being rolled out in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that up to 5000 of Britain's largest emitters will be affected by the carbon reduction Bill and they are now in the process of getting ready for registration. This involves a 'look back' to 2008 for compliance.
The Climate Change Act was the catalyst for the British government to introduce a carbon reduction Bill. Going back to the Kyoto Protocol, a number of benchmarks have been set but this is the first time that far-reaching legislation has been imposed upon companies that are contributory to the problem, causing them to actively reduce their carbon footprint.
While the United Kingdom has moved decisively, a lot of people in the United States are wondering whether legislators in Washington will have the will to pass a similar carbon reduction bill in this country. The US House of Representatives has indicated that they wish to see something similar to the UK legislation, but the ACES Act as it is known may not survive through the Senate unscathed.
According to the UK government, a company is deemed to be a major emitter of carbon gases if it uses at least 6000 MWh of electricity per year. This is the figure used as a trigger to initiate participation, measured through half hourly meters. Some of the finer details are still to be worked out, but it is clear that should an organization not perform according to benchmarks, it faces considerable repercussions.
It is certainly true that the change in administration within the United States may lead to a considerable change in the approach to a carbon reduction Bill. Most industrialized nations have called for something like this for a long time and the UK situation could be now mirrored in the USA.
While they are waiting to see whether they may be impacted in the future, US organizations that fear a carbon reduction bill could now look at the Chicago Climate Exchange for a version of a voluntary carbon trading scheme. Within this market, allowances and offsets are traded on a voluntary basis, although rules must be strictly adhered to once a company has agreed to participate.
There seems no doubt that carbon reduction bills and corresponding legislation will be popping up around the world in increasing numbers from now on. There is more and more evidence pointing to a dangerous acceleration of climate change, which must be addressed.
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