All change on climate issues


For the UK, 2016 has been a time of change beginning with the EU Referendum on the 23rd of June which saw the UK voting to leave the European Union, the subsequent resignation of Prime Minister, David Cameron, the appointment of Theresa May to Number 10 and the role of Environment Secretary going to Andrea Leadsom. 

Just days after these monumental events, in a major departmental shake-up, the Government announced that the Department of Energy and Climate Change will be dissolved and will now be absorbed by the newly expanded Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, under the leadership of Greg Clarke. The department brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy and climate change and is leading the Government’s relationship with business to deliver affordable, clean energy. Furthermore, all of this comes in the wake of the Government’s announcement of an ambitious fifth carbon budget later this year. Both Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom and Greg Clarke have stated that there will be no deviation from the UK’s long-term carbon targets but, as we’ve seen frequently in the past, it is very common for an MP to put their stamp on their new role by making immediate changes and it’s almost certain that further changes to environmental controls will be announced in the not too distant future. 

With businesses already under pressure from recent legislations such as the EcoDesign Directive and the ErP (Energy Related Products) Directive, prudent businesses are looking to not just meet the current and forthcoming legislations but to exceed them, thus future-proofing products ahead of further legislation. The ErP Directive which came into place on the 26th September 2015, sets minimum requirements for products with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. This Directive states that boilers with outputs up to 400kW now, by law, have to meet the new energy efficiency levels and that boilers up to 70kW have to be supplied with a new energy efficiency label. Companies such as Ideal Commercial Boilers which began planning for the ErP Directive from the first announcement on 21st October 2009 are now in a position whereby its products out-perform the current legislation meaning that they are better prepared for what might come next.  

Following the Climate Change Act in 2008, the UK was the first country in the world to adopt a legally binding target to reduce carbon emissions and that target is a reduction by at least 80% by 2050 from the 1990 baseline. This target will, like legislations now already in place, be a legal requirement and businesses that fail to comply will face financial penalties and, possibly, custodial sentences. Andrea Leadsom said on the 14th July that plans are being made to “pave the way for mass roll-out of low-carbon heat“ and, in a political climate that is currently in a state of transition, it is good business practice for an organisation to be aiming for not just the next target but the one after that to ensure that they stay ahead of the game.   

19 August 2016
Source: HVR


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