UK to include EfW in emissions trading scheme from 2028

The UK government has this morning (03/07/23) published its main response to a consultation on developing the emissions trading scheme, announcing the inclusion of EfW in the UK ETS from 2028.
UK to include EfW in emissions trading scheme from 2028
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(03/07/23) The UK government has published its main response to a consultation on developing the emissions trading scheme, announcing the inclusion of EfW and waste incineration in the UK ETS from 2028.

The response states: "We will proceed with expansion of the UK ETS to include waste incineration and EfW. The Authority notes the strong support for expansion among respondents, although this was often dependent on the need for careful consideration of timing, alignment with other waste policies and avoiding the potential for unintended consequences to the waste hierarchy."

The consultation asked whether respondents agreed with the proposed timeline for EfW and waste incineration to be included within the UK ETS. Based on respondent feedback, the Authority states:

We intend to include EfW and waste incineration in the UK ETS from 2028. This will give a five -year period for the sector and their customers to prepare for implementation. We are minded to include a two-year phasing period, from 2026-2028, where installations will monitor their emissions, but we will consult on this further. 

There was concern raised from consultation respondents with regard to the inclusion of incineration of hazardous and healthcare waste in the UK ETS. However, the response highlights that emissions from the incineration of hazardous and clinical waste make up 4% of the UK’s total waste incineration. With this in mind, the Authority states:

We are not minded to exempt hazardous waste from the UK ETS. However, we will further consider any risks this might pose, such as carbon leakage (waste exports) or increased waste crime, and aim to consult on potential mitigation options by the end of 2023 if necessary.

The tax will be applied to all EfW technologies in order to "maintain a level playing field" across the sector. The point of obligation for the tax will fall upon "the operators of waste incineration and EfW facilities."

Read the full report here. 

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