Brexit Poses a Challenge for Carbon Pricing Mechanisms

Brexit Poses a Challenge for Carbon Pricing Mechanisms

Currently, the UK partakes in the EU Emissions Trading System, an international carbon trading platform that works on a cap and trade system. As of January 2021 the UK will leave the EU ETS as it exits the EU. The UK will try to link its own cap and trade program into the EU ETS in order to remain competitive.

The UK climate change committee has said they would advise the government to consider a carbon tax if the UK is unable to link it’s cap and trade system to the EU ETS. The government has warned their Plan B is to charge £16 fee for every ton of carbon emitted. There is already a similar tax put in place for coal emissions specifically, called the Carbon Price Support coal tax which was created in 2015. This is set at £4.49 per tonne of CO2 emitted from coal which has been largely successful in reducing coal emissions, as the UK saw 18 days and 6 hours without using any coal-fired electricity last year.

District councils have begun to take actions into their own hands as Warwick District Council has proposed placing a climate tax on its area. By increasing council tax, they would raise a £3 million fund which they could use to tackle climate change. However, because this raises the tax bracket for the area it needs to be voted for in a local referendum set to take place on May 7th. This is the first of its kind and would hopefully influence other councils to take on the same measures.

Unfortunately, until a deal has been reached with the EU it remains uncertain whether there will be a Cap and Trade system linked to the EU ETS, or introduce a carbon tax, making effective local action ever more important in the fight against climate change.

Activity Rating: * Needs Urgent Improvement

 Take Action:

Please send the following message to the policymaker(s) below.

Dear Philip,

Climate Scorecard backs your proposal for a Climate Tax referendum. Your district council has shown that by an increase of only £1 per average household a week, you are able to generate enough funds for locally led climate change action.

It would also be great to learn more about the plans in place to improve people’s home energy efficiency, as we hope this does not just refer to new developments. Further, it would be interesting to see the plans set out for where any new trees and woodlands will be planted and how you plan on managing these new woodlands. This seems like a great opportunity to involve the local community in carbon offsetting initiatives. 

A sustainable transport policy also is required, but we hope this includes cycle lanes and greater public transport capacity, as well as pedestrianized areas and urban street trees to capture pollution from traffic.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these actions,

Many thanks,

[your name]

Contact Details for Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Name: Philip Clarke

Address: Warwick District Council, Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Leamington Spa, CV32 5HZ

Telephone: 01926 456518


This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager: Zara Holden

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