Headlines: February 6th, 2009

More councils are being urged to sign up to the latest stage of a carbon trading system. The Local Government Information Unit wants authorities to join the second phase of its Carbon Trading Councils scheme for the next financial year.

The Government’s own Carbon Reduction Commitment will come into force in April 2010 and will be a mandatory “cap-and-trade” system for the public and private sectors. Local authorities may be included in the scheme, depending on their level of electricity use but upper tier authorities and most metropolitan boroughs are likely to be included as the CRC scheme will cover any organisation that uses more than 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year.

The LGiU believes it is important for councils to gear up to the April 2010 start date and to understand the full implications of the new regulations. It started its own Carbon Trading Councils system last year and 34 local authorities have signed up since its launch. The first year has allowed the councils taking part to learn about the opportunities and challenges of carbon trading, particularly understanding and managing data quality, financial and governance issues and developing trading strategies. The Unit said that simulating carbon trading had helped the authorities to prepare for the mandatory scheme.

Carbon Trading Councils will enter its next stage in April. Lessons learned from the first phase will be incorporated with a series of revisions and improvements and the scheme will be more closely aligned with the Government’s CRC. Urging more authorities to participate in the scheme, the LGiU said the deadline for signing up to the second phase was March 15th.