Industrial emissions and carbon reductions


This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

You can also still submit comments to the Red Tape Challenge inbox by clicking here.

These regulate the release of emissions into the environment.

They include provisions on the sulphur content of fuels; emissions allowances for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust from large UK combustion plants; volatile organic compounds; dark smoke emissions; emissions of smoke, grit and dust from non-domestic furnaces; ozone depleting substances; carbon accounting; carbon budgets; fluorinated greenhouse gases; and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System.

You can find all 35 regulations that relate to industrial emissions and carbon reductions below to the left.

The Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2009

Regulations underpin the comprehensive EU regulatory framework that aims to minimise emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

EU regulation

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Sulphur Content of Liquid Fuels (England and Wales) Regulations 2007

Sets limits on the sulphur content of heavy fuel oils and diesel.

EU regulation

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The Large Combustion Plants (National Emission Reduction Plan) Regulations 2007

Provides for the operation of a register of allocations and transfers of annual emissions allowances for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust from certain plants in the UK.

 UK regulation

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The Pollution Prevention and Control (Unauthorised Part B Processes) (England and Wales) Regulations 2004

Amended certain transitional provisions in Part 2 of Schedule 3 to the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000

EU regulation

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The Volatile Organic Compounds in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations 2005

Prohibits the placing on the market of certain paints if they contain more than a specified amount of VOCs.

EU regulation

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The Volatile Organic Compounds in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2009

Delegates enforcement functions from Secretary of State to local authorities in England

EU regulation

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The Volatile Organic Compounds in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Implements changes arising from Directive 2008/112/EC about harmonising the classification and labelling of substances and mixtures.

EU regulation

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Dark Smoke (Permitted Periods) Regulations 1958

Allows derogation from the Clean Air Act 1993 (CAA) s1 prohibition on dark smoke emissions from industrial plant, allowing specified short-term emissions

 UK regulation

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Dark Smoke (Permitted Periods) (Vessels) Regulations 1958

Allows derogation from the CAA s44 prohibition on dark smoke emissions from vessels, allowing specified short-term emissions

 UK regulation

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Clean Air (Emission of Dark Smoke) (Exemption) Regulations 1969

Disapply the CAA s2 prohibition on smoke emissions from industrial or trade premises in relation to burning

 UK regulation

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Clean. Air (Emission of Grit and Dust from Furnaces) Regulations 1971

Sets standards under CAA s5 for the amount of grit and dust that may be emitted from non-domestic furnaces.

 UK regulation

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Clean Air (Measurement of Grit and Dust from Furnaces) Regulations 1971

Regs under CAA s10 specify that a local authority must give at least 6 weeks notice of a requirement to add to a chimney the means of measuring grit and dust; and the occupier must make the changes within the period given in the notice. Where this is done, the Regs provide the procedures and requirements for undertaking the measurement.

 UK regulation

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Clean Air (height of chimneys) (exemption) regulations 1969

Sets out exemptions (eg for temporary plant) from the requirements of CAA s14 to have a chimney height approved.

 UK regulation

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Control of Atmospheric Pollution (Research and Publicity) Regulations 1977

Regs under CAA s38 establish procedures and requirements for local authorities serving notices to collect information about air pollution from third parties

 UK regulation

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Control of Atmosphere Pollution (Appeals) Regulations 1977

Regs under CAA s37 setting out procedures for appeals against notices under CAA s38 to collect information from third parties

EU regulation

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The Environment Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regulations 2011

The Regulations establish the enforcement framework for the EU legislation implementing the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances.

EU regulation

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The Ozone Depleting Substances (Qualifications) Regulations 2009

The Regulations establish the qualifications needed to work with ozone-depleting substances.

 UK regulation

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Clean Air (Emission of Dark Smoke) (Exemption) Regulations 1969

Disapply the CAA s2 prohibition on smoke emissions from industrial or trade premises in relation to burning

 UK regulation

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Dark Smoke (Permitted Periods) (Vessels) Regulations 1958

Allows derogation from the CAA s44 prohibition on dark smoke emissions from vessels, allowing specified short-term emissions

 UK regulation

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Dark Smoke (Permitted Periods) Regulations 1958

Allows derogation from the Clean Air Act 1993 (CAA) s1 prohibition on dark smoke emissions from industrial plant, allowing specified short-term emissions

 UK regulation

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Carbon Accounting Regulations 2009

Sets out the methodology for calculating the UK’s net carbon account.

 UK regulation

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Carbon Budgets Order 2009

A carbon budget is a cap on the total quantity of greenhouse gas emissions emitted in the UK over a specified time. This regulation sets the UK’s first three carbon budget levels for 2008-2022.

 UK regulation

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Carbon Budgets Order 2011

A carbon budget is a cap on the total quantity of greenhouse gas emissions emitted in the UK over a specified time. This regulation set the level of the fourth carbon budget for 2023-27.

 UK regulation

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Climate Change Act 2008

Set the UK’s emissions reduction targets, introduced a system of five year carbon budgets and set up the Committee on Climate Change.

 UK regulation

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Climate Change Act 2008 (2020 Target, Credit Limit and Definitions) Order 2009

Revises the 2020 reduction target in the Climate Change Act, sets the limit on the use of offset credits for the first carbon budget period and defines international aviation emissions.

 UK regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data and National Implementation Measures Regulations 2009

Enables specified greenhouse gas emissions data to be collected, and enables other data to be collected to enable the UK (as required by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme Directive) to publish and submit national implementation measures for phase III of the scheme

EU regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2007

Makes technical amendments to the 2005 Regulations.

EU regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (Fees) and National Emissions Inventory Regulations 2011

Amends the 2005 Regulations to provide that the Environment Agency must determine applications for project activities established under the Kyoto Protocol on or after 1 June 2011, and to require fees to be paid in relation to applications until 6 April 2011.

 UK regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) and National Emissions Inventory Regulations 2005

Implements EU ETS Directive in respect of Kyoto Protocol’s project mechanisms

EU regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2006

Amends the 2005 Regulations to make a variety of changes, such as providing a mechanism for installations which began operating before 2004 but which have not received an allocation of allowances, to apply for an allocation

 UK regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2007

Permits Emissions Trading Scheme allowances to be allocated by way of auction or sale (in the first phase of the scheme), and permits the Secretary of State to enter into agreements with persons who hold accounts in the emissions trading registry to transfer allowances to those persons in exchange for payment.

EU regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2007

Specifies the document which is the approved national allocation plan for the second phase of the scheme (2008-2012).

EU regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Nitrous Oxide) Regulations 2011

Implements option available in EU ETS Directive to Member States to opt-in additional greenhouse gases and sectors.

 UK regulation

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005

Provides the framework for implementing the European Union’s greenhouse gas emission trading scheme in the UK. The scheme is a ‘cap and trade’ scheme which is intended to control emissions of carbon dioxide.

EU regulation

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The Climate Change Act 2008 (Credit Limit) Order 2011

Sets the limit on the use of offset credits (reductions in carbon emissions made to compensate/offset emissions made elsewhere) in the second carbon budget period 2013-2017

 UK regulation

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Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

For example, the Pollution Prevention and Control (Unauthorised Part B Processes) (England and Wales) Regulations 2004 may no longer be needed because they have been largely superseded by the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

165 responses to Industrial emissions and carbon reductions

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    Margot T said on November 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    The most worrying thing about much of this legislation is the number of derogations and exemptions, not the regulations themselves; why do we continue to have derogations and exemptions on dark smoke emisions from various sources? This seems mad, especially with the UK lagging behind the rest of Europe on air quality.

    The Climate Change Act is something for this country to protect and be immensely proud of.

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    R Graham said on March 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Leave these regs as they are. How we can seriously suggest that removing regulation on such things will help our country is beyond me. short termist nonsense. Just wait until the next election.

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    James Todd said on March 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Regulation in these areas needs significant strengthening not reduction. Removing a so called ‘burden’ from business will simple put the burden – and costs – back onto society, now and in the future. Getting business to price and in externalities through robust environmental regulation allows the market to allocate resources more efficiently. These externalities, and real costs they impose on society, are not going to magically disappear by cutting and weakening legislation in this area.

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    Niall Enright said on March 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Energy Efficiency and Climate Change regulations should, if anything, be strengthened. Not only does the science tell us that we are at a very real risk of irreversible climatic change which will have disastrous impact, but becoming more resource efficient is actually good for business.

    Take for example the CRC: as a Consultant I have been closely involved in the monitoring and reporting of emissions from a number of businesses, large and small. While anyone involved in the scheme will acknowledge that the rules are complex and compliance is costly, in every case I have been involved in there is a potential to save more than the scheme cost – an average of 8% of energy bills, usually through relatively low cost measures. Without the impetus of regulation, these businesses whose energy costs are typically a small percentage of operating cost, would not have addressed their potential for greater efficiency.

    As far as including the Climate Change Act in the list of “red tape” this Implies that the sole function of Government is to support profit-making at all costs. What ideological nonsense – we have Armed Forces to protect our citizens, we have a Health Service to maintain our well-being and we need a Climate Change Act to wean us off our addiction to expensive, damaging fossil fuels.

    We need to eliminate the misconception that environmental protection and business success are “either/or” alternatives. Since when has reducing unproductive expenditure on inefficiency and waste been job-destroying? Since when has responding to the growing global demand for less carbon-intensive products been bad for business? Since when has the UK’s lead in green technologies and services undermined our competitiveness?

    Businesess recognise this. The Government’s attitude shows just how out of touch Ministers are with the realities of business. Businesses, you may be surprised to hear, are able to “pat their heads and rub their tummies”, in other words they are quite capable of taking on board the requirements to reduce emissions and to run their businesses. What infuriates business, and creates waste of time and effort, is the constant change of policy detail – look at the fiasco on feed-in-tariffs – which undermines long term planning. So leave the regulations alone and provide a long-term price signal on Carbion and then step-aside.

    If this government wants to be “greenest ever” it needs to dismiss this flawed notion that regulation is bad – quite the opposite, it has the potential to drive innovation, profit, competitiveness and enhance the well-being of our citizens.

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      Dr Hafez Abdo said on April 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      In fact, carbon emission is a real problem casued by the industrial world. Energy security is another problem that no one can ignore. what is the solution? we want to produce energy and reduce carbon emission! governments such as the UK, who is ranked 7th emissioner in the world, wanted to benefit from this case. they introduced a carbon tax – so the tax is lieved on the smoke. This tool will not have a significant effect as industry will pass the cost on to the end user as an increase in their energy bills, also UK electricity generators will lose their competitive positions to other EU electricity companies who will be able to provide electricity to British homes at a lower prices. The regulatory regime should secure the investment environment for existing electricity generators and secure sufficient energy at affordable prices to the end users. direct intervention may harm both the industry and the households. Polluters should be penilised but end users shouldn’t.

      Comment Tags: UK Carbon Tax?

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    chris gillham said on February 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    The UK government is seriously complacent about its carbon emissions policy, indeed constantly boasting about meeting Kyoto. If we have met Kyoto it is primarily because of the move to gas from coal, so an accidental offshoot of Thatcher’s destruction of the industry many years ago; secondarily because of recession; thirdly because we import much more carbon in goods from China etc. that we do not count – nor do we count the carbon from international aviation which our government seeks to promote. The Department for Transport obstinately refuses to contemplate doing anything about carbon emissions in road transport, with its absurd pretences that the problem goes away with biofuels and electric cars. Road transport emissions are the easiest things for us toreduce by simply encouraging a rapid switch from the unnecessary subsidisation of road transport (which externalises costs equal to about 3 times the total road anf fuel duty taxes) towards more efficient public transport and rail freight. We need carbon taxes.

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    patricia borlenghi said on February 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    If anything, there should be more regulations. This is a very serious problem and needs to be addressed and contained by very strict measures.

    Comment Tags: triciab

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    Aubrey Meyer said on January 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    The primary piece of legislation governing carbon emissions in the UK Climate Act.. It is based on the C&C principle [text deleted]

    Considering the debacle at COP-15, where HMG attempted to prescribe these rates of the global community, it would make more sense for HMG to go to the UNFCCC negotiations and *negotiate rather than prescribe* these rates [text deleted]

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      Terry O'Connell said on January 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

      HMG, when setting UK carbon budgets in its Climate Act, assumed an annual global rate of emissions reduction of 4% starting in 2016. COP 17 set the start of these global reductions in 2020, rendering HMG’s global target and national budgets seriously inadequate. They must go back and work out much more stringent budgets and associated costs before any further regulatory adjustment.

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    Adam Leaver said on January 25, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The Climate Change Act and regulations on industrial emissions are vital pieces of legislation and must be retained. The only changes that should be considered by the “greenest government ever” are those which strengthen controls on carbon dioxide and other emissions.

    Comment Tags: carbon dioxide, CO2, reporting

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    Alex Towler said on January 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    This is incredulous; why is is the Climate Change Act 2008 even on this list. When scientific consensus is so strong and the need so great, every effort should be made to strengthen the act.

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    Paul Machin said on December 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Currently screen printing and digital printing companies are required to apply for a permit under the Process Guidance Note PG 6/16 if emissions exceed 5 tonnes per annum. No such requirement is necessary within other EU countries. This makes this form of UK printer uncompetitive as there are administrative and cost implications involved.

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    Theresa McManus said on September 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I think that the key objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and emissions of other pollutantsas quickly as possible. Greenhouse gas reductions should be in line with the existing Climate Change Act 2008, but ideally more ambitious.

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    Steve Fisher said on September 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    It is important to reduce the amount of recalculation and reporting by using consistent methodolgy and reporting formats so the CO2 emmissions across the range of enviornmental legislation can be reported once rather than for each and slightly different schemes.

    Comment Tags: CO2, consistent, reporting

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    B Chapman said on September 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    We need strong and well-enforced legislation that protects biodiversity, the environment and humans from damage resulting from carbon and other emissions. Voluntary measures are not appropriate. The only changes that should be made by a Government which aims to be the greenest ever are to strengthen controls and make compliance and enforcement as simple and effective as possible.

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    Dan McEwan said on September 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Improving the legislation on industrial emissions and carbon reductions is an immensely complex and technical undertaking. Certain principles, however, must be preserved. Regulation is essential in this area: a voluntary code will never be adequate, given the number of well documented cases in which major pollution has been caused because legislation has been ignored in the interests of profit.

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    Susan Anders said on September 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    The Climate Change Act and regulations on industrial emissions are vital pieces of legislation and must be retained. The only changes that should be considered by the “greenest government ever” are those which strengthen controls on carbon dioxide and other emissions.

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    Rachel Sutcliffe said on September 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    The “greenest government ever” should strictly enforce regulations relating to industrial emissions and carbon reduction for the health and well-being of all. Changes should be made only to make implementation as as simple and effective as possible

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    Nick Marks said on September 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

    On a purely legal basis, looking at the Regulations under consideration, they fall into two categories: EU Regulations and UK Regulations. Given that the EU Regulations are part of the responsibility of the UK government to implement as part of its responsibilities as a member state, it would appear that we could not opt out of EU regulations (even if we wanted to) without leaving the EU. I believe that many of the UK regulations also derive from this source.

    A number of the UK regulations refer to derogations from the parent Act. If the derogations are removed the result is to make things illegal that are currently not illegal – surely the reverse of what is intended?

    There are also series of amendment regulations. If the government is really interested in reducing the number of regulations, they could probably be combined. Whether this would be worth the administrative effort is questionable.

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    Stephen Reeson said on September 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

    A bit of background – these comments are from the Food and Drink Federation, the trade association for food and drink manufacturing. We are the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, employing up to 400,000 people. The industry has an annual turnover of over £72.3bn accounting for 15% of the total manufacturing sector.

    Climate Change Agreements

    We warmly welcome the Government’s intention to continue Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) to 2023 with the existing participating sectors. CCAs are a very effective scheme to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in energy intensive sectors. The participants in the FDF CCA have reduced their energy use per tonne of production by 21% since 1999 and reduced CO2 emissions by 22% (around 1.4MTe).

    The ‘red tape admin factory’ to run the CCAs has, by and large, run very well over the last 10 years so we are very concerned over potential changes which could increase the cost and complexity of scheme administration (as proposed in the recent ‘Simplification of Climate Change Agreements’ consultation). We are particularly concerned about the impacts of these increased costs and complexities on the many hundreds of SMEs who participate in the CCAs – noting that CCAs are the main policy instrument that engages them on energy efficiency and emissions reduction. DECC are urged to avoid a ‘step in the wrong direction’ on this issue.

    Carbon Reduction Commitment

    With reference to the June publication of DECC’s proposals to simplify the CRC we welcome the overall approach – specifically such changes as reducing the number of fuel covered by the scheme, the removal of the need to submit footprint reports and the exclusion of electricity from EUETS installations. However, the decision to scrap the 25% CCA exclusion rule is one step in the wrong direction if the aim is to simplify regulation. If not retained some organisations, previously excluded from the CRC, would now have to participate and risk being covered by multiple emissions reduction policies. Established policies such as the EUETS and CCAs are best placed to improve energy efficiency and emissions reductions in our sector.

    F-Gas Regulations

    This regulation is viewed by many manufacturers as a sensible approach to reducing emissions of HFC refrigerant gases. The key is its consistent and effective implementation which not only cuts emissions but brings real business cost saving benefits. On the detail, greater clarity on certain practical details (e.g. which maintenance activities require an f-gas qualified/certified technician and/or a certified company etc) and steps to improve compliance and effectiveness with regards to training and certification would be welcome. We also note Defra’s ‘risk based’ approach to implementing the Regulations which we think is a sensible way forward. The EU Directive, upon which the regulations are based, is currently under review. If, as is likely, the discussion turns to not using these gases in the future it is very important that any proposed phase downs are implemented in a way that does not lead to capital equipment redundancy and are implemented for new installations only. This is particularly important for current ‘middle range’ HFC systems where cost effective alternative refrigerants and equipment are not always available.

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    Heather Lammas said on September 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

    legislation must be maintained to ensure CO2 emissions can be reduced. The climate change act is an important piece of legislation which not only sets out emissions reductions but also requirements to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Requesting voluntary action on these areas would reduce the likihood of action being taken. In the current climate of cuts when environment is perhaps not at the top of everybodies list of concerns, legislation is vital to ensure the environment is not forgotten. Perhaps some regulations relating to carbon emissions and air quality could be merged. I imagine that legislation was put in place to respond to a problem, if the legislation is removed is there not a danger the problem could return.

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    Lilian Pallikaropoulos said on September 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

    These Regulations MUST be kept and strengthened and properly enforced as they are well thought out and IF they were properly enforced they would go some way to protecting the public’s environment, air quality and health. The industries get away with far too much already and the public need more power and the Public Participation and EIA Directives need to be implemented to give the public more protection and control over our environment. What sort of a government would even think of scrapping environmental protection – except one wanting to help their friends in industry to flourish at our expense? I cannot believe they are even thinking like this. Green – they do not know what the word means!

    Comment Tags: enforce, protect, strengthen

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