BRITAIN IS planning a major crackdown on carbon emissions when it takes over the presidency of the European Union, environment minister Elliot Morley said this week.
It is expected to come into conflict with other EU states where emissions targets are less ambitious.
Emissions trading was introduced in Europe in January and places a cap on the amount of carbon that industry is allowed to produce.
Companies can then trade their remaining allowance if their emissions fall below it (NCE 22 April).
Morley said that the introduction of carbon emission trading had got off to a good start since its introduction at the start of the year, but that Britain was well ahead of other EU states.
'Some states have put some pretty crummy plans forward. We have been praised in Europe for our methodology, although there are some concerns that our caps are pretty tough, ' he said.
Each country is free to set its own caps on emission levels in order to enable them to meet their targets for carbon reduction set in the Kyoto agreement. 'We are aiming for 20% reduction by 2020, ' said Morley.
Attention on trading will focus on the airline industry, he said.
'We are really committed to this.
If the Union takes it on then the airline companies will have to engage, ' Morley told NCE.
Although emissions trading is currently only enforced in EU member states, Morley said that it is only a matter of time before it will go global.
'California wants to do it, so do Canada and Australia. Eventually we might see a global cap on carbon emissions, ' he said.