The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is new legislation that has been introduced across Europe to tackle emissions of carbon dioxide and combat climate change.
Any organisation that operates boilers or generators over a certain size will be required to manage and report on their carbon dioxide emissions. The University has over 140 boilers that come under scope of the Directive, which came into force on the 1st January 2005.
The University has been given a carbon dioxide allowance by DEFRA based on historical energy consumption. This allowance means that the University must reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 3,804 tonnes, which equates to a 10% reduction in energy consumption by December 2007 (compared with the base year of 2003). If in 2007 the University emits more carbon dioxide (i.e. uses more energy) than we are allowed to, then we will have to buy carbon from the market place. If we emit less than we are allowed, then we will be able to sell carbon in the market place.
The allowance is based on total carbon emissions (i.e. energy consumption) and is not related to floor area or external temperature. Therefore if we build more buildings or make them more energy intensive we will have to reduce carbon emissions even more as we will still have the same allowance.
As from 1st January 2005 we became carbon traders! The drive for energy saving will therefore be even greater as making savings will not only reduce our emissions on site but could also provide us with an income which we could reinvest in even more energy saving initiatives.For more information see: