Brewers, automotive companies, and insurance firms are among 33 businesses fined by the Environment Agency for failing to comply with climate change schemes.
The fines cover the 2020-21 financial year, with over £27m of fines issued in total for breaches of rules governing the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS), Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, Climate Change Levy, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas regime.
The agency said it had taken the action as part of efforts to ensure climate regulations are followed and greenhouse gas emissions reduced.
“The fines published today should serve as an important reminder for all organizations to ensure that they are compliant with these schemes and are playing their part in tackling climate change,” said Liz Parkes, deputy director for climate change at the Environment Agency.
Brewing and automotive companies which had signed up to the voluntary Climate Change Agreements (CCA) scheme – and benefited from a discount on the Climate Change Levy for doing so – were among those fined after failing to sufficiently reduce their energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in line with the rules of the scheme.
The Environment Agency also fined firms running power plants under the EU ETS after they were found to have under-reported their emissions for a specific year, while others were penalised for failed to submit the necessary reports outlining their emissions for a specific year.
Meanwhile, a number of firms including those involved in insurance and the manufacture of machinery were fined for failing to complete audits of the energy used by their business and failing to identify cost-effective energy saving measures under the ESOS regime.
“These schemes are an important part of the nation’s efforts to reduce emissions and hit net zero by 2050,” Parkes added.