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UK Government Scraps Environmental Regulations To Save £400 Million

UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry announced yesterday the scrapping of 86 environmental regulations that will save businesses £400 million over the next 20 years. The package of reforms, which also includes improvements to a further 48 regulatory regimes, is part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge that aims to remove surplus regulation hindering businesses.

Is the Government's Red Tape Challenge another opportunity to win points from an increasingly cynical public, but one that is in danger of undermining decades of environmental protection?

“It is vital that we have a regulatory regime which promotes fairness and consumer and environmental protection, but does not impose unnecessary costs or barriers to generating the necessary investment, innovation and skills we need to build the low carbon economy,” says Hendry.

As well as simplifications to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) and the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme, the changes cover areas from discharges from chemical installations to requirements for electricity lines and gas pipelines.

The changes to the EU ETS, which were confirmed earlier this summer, will allow small emitters and organisations like hospitals to opt out of the scheme from 2013.

The government maintains that the changes will maintain all environmental protections reducing costs and unnecessary burdens.

Energy Efficiency News, 8 August 2012