The Climate Change Agreements (CCA) scheme, which offers tax benefits to firms which agree to energy efficiency targets, saw a collective reduction in emissions of 6.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent during 2019 and 2020, according to a new Environment Agency report.
This equates to an overall emissions reduction of 13.3% across a total of 8,705 facilities signed up to the scheme.
The latest biennial report also shows that, between 2013 and 2020, the CCA scheme, which which is administered by the Environment Agency on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has seen total emissions savings of 23.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, commented: “The CCA scheme is encouraging businesses to find ways to reduce their energy usage and consequently their carbon emissions.
“Innovation is key, and the Environment Agency is here to support that through progressive regulation.
“We are already seeing the effects of climate change in the UK, so it is vital that businesses face up to the challenge of adapting to a different climate, thinking about energy use as well as the use of natural resources, such as water, which will become more scarce in the future.”
The CCA scheme encourages industry-wide energy reduction, with associated reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, to help the UK’s drive to become net zero by 2050.
Energy efficiency improvement targets within the CCA scheme are agreed between Government and sector associations.
Participating operators that meet their energy efficiency targets receive an agreed reduction in the Climate Change Levy, a tax that is applied to commercial electricity, gas, and solid fuel bills.
During the 2019-20 reporting period, the operators of 1,510 (47.4%) agreements, covering 3,110 facilities, met or exceeded their improvement targets.
Operators who failed to meet their targets used any banked emissions savings from previous target periods, and paid a buy-out fee for each outstanding tonne of emissions above the target.
The full report is available on the UK Government website.