Green reporting legislation too complex, says watchdog

by Rachael Singh

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24 Sep 2010

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The environmental watchdog has criticised upcoming green legislation, just a week before its introduction.

The Committee on Climate Change, (CCC) which advises the government on how to meet its emission reduction targets, has heavily criticised the environmental legislation as "unnecessarily complex".

The reporting requirements around declaring energy-related emissions is expected to require finance functions to be involved in collating and presenting the data.

David Kennedy, chief executive of the CCC, said: "It's something we struggled to understand, with my team of analysts who have worked in a number of governments, " the Financial Times reports.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is due to be implemented on 30 September and requires around 25,000 organisations to report on how much energy they use. Around 4,000 companies from this group will also also have to pay for energy related carbon emissions.

The CRC has been swamped in complexity as the legislation had numerous changes implemented over the last year. One change in particular required companies affected by the CRC to pay for predicted emissions for both 2010 and 2011 in April 2010. This was changed to allow companies to pay for predicted emissions in April 2011 for the fiscal year 2011-12, therefore delaying payment of emissions for a year.

Chairman of the CCC, Lord Turner has asked the government to reform the legislation as well as conduct a review of all the climate change rules that apply to businesses.

Any business which misses the CRC deadline at the end of the month is to incur significant fines of an initial £5,000 payment and a daily charge of £500 until registered. Businesses will pay up to a maximum of £45,000.

Greg Barker, minister of state for energy and climate change indicated to the Financial Times that the government would be lenient on fining companies that are late to register.

He said he wanted to simplify the bureaucracy of the CRC scheme that the coalition inherited.

Further reading:

CRC still too complex and ineffective

FDs face ‘double whammy’ on carbon bills

Businesses have 18 days to register for CRC: PwC

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