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DEFRA to simplify CO2 reduction measures for businesses

The Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (Defra) yesterday announced the launch of a consultation into measures to simplify regulations businesses face in cutting CO2 emissions.

The consultation will examine recommendations and findings of a recent report which reviewed Defra's three major climate Change tools - the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, Climate Change Agreements and the proposed Carbon Reduction Commitment.

The government wants to produce a new package of measures to cut duplication and bureaucracy, making it easier for businesses to cut emissions, something businesses had told the government they had found confusing.

A second paper, by government economists, aims to raise the value attached to carbon emissions or savings from all new policies and projects across government.

At the moment, the 'Shadow Price of Carbon' cslculated by putting a price on the effects of carbon, is £25 per tonne. The new proposals will bring the value of carbon used in government decision-making into line with the Stern Review - increasing it by 17% for emissions in 2020, 32% in 2030; and 67% in 2050, compared with previous guidance.

Environment Minister Phil Woolas said: "This consultation shows once again that we're serious about tackling emissions in the UK and that doing so doesn't need to undermine competitiveness.

"It's all about making sure that we get the biggest cuts in carbon dioxide possible for the money spent. Working together, Government and businesses must show leadership in tackling emissions, without jeopardising prosperity."

The report and consultation "Climate Change Instruments: Areas of Overlap and Options for Simplification" can be found here, and businesses are encouraged to contribute, with opinion taken up to 19 March 2008.

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