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CRC still too complex and ineffective

Carbon reduction legislation lacks punch while its protagonists lack leadership

The current Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation
does not go far enough and is too confusing for businesses.

That is the verdict from Smart Carbon Research (SCR) which says more than 40%
of respondents to its survey on the legislation revealed many find it confusing,
while 44% say it falls short of the effort required to make an impact.

The CRC requires companies that spend £500,000 annually on energy bills to
forecast its future carbon emissions for each financial year and then pay for
these up front. Companies are then entered into a league table which reveals
their emissions levels and their progress. They can then receive a rebate on the
CRC rate they pay, depending on where they are ranked and how much they have
reduced their emissions.

Simple as it sounds, the CRC has been beset by changes to better suit the
response of businesses. One change in particular requires companies affected by
the CRC to pay for predicted emissions for both 2010 and 2011 in April 2010.
This was changed to allow companies to pay for predicted emissions in April 2011
for the fiscal year 2011-12, therefore delaying payment of emissions for a year.

The SCR report finds that while the will for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
to succeed was there, it needs to be sold to businesses with clear commercial
and reputational advantages above and beyond the environmental gains. The
legislation must evolve to demonstrate its value to the UK economy in addressing
a complex issue and contributing to 2020 targets, the report suggests.
“There is still a lack of strong leadership and education around carbon,” said
Dan Ilett, founder of Greenbang, which partnered SCR on the research.

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