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Energy Efficiency Cuts Carbon Better Than EU Emissions Trading

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A UK energy efficiency initiative may be cutting carbon more effectively than the “bigger and far more complicated” European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the Energy and Carbon Blog reported earlier this month.

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“The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme applies to large UK energy users which do not qualify for the EU ETS, including central government departments, supermarkets, water companies, banks, and local authorities,” writes energy analyst Gerard Wynn. The first detailed assessment of the program “suggested that it had reduced electricity consumption by an annual average of three to five percent between 2010 and 2012, and had achieved significant cuts in gas consumption among the most intensive gas users,” while reducing carbon emissions by six to eight percent per year.

“The CRC scheme is simpler than the EU ETS in several ways. For example, by avoiding a cap on emissions, it avoids the political difficulty of allocating a fixed quota of carbon emissions allowances, where some countries or companies inevitably argue for exceptions and handouts,” Wynn explains. “In addition, it measures emissions by proxy, through metered gas and electricity consumption, rather than directly, thus avoiding the extra bureaucracy of emissions reporting and monitoring.”