ClientEarth calls on UK government to pursue alternative EPS design [Letter]

ClientEarth has written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne MP, drawing his attention to one key aspect of our response to the government’s electricity market reform consultation.

After close analysis, we advise that the proposal to ‘grandfather’ the level of emissions performance standards (EPS) for the duration of economic life of new plant gives rise to three material modifications of the previous government’s framework for the development of clean coal (FDCC). This is the case notwithstanding the fact that the duration of ‘economic life’ has yet to be defined. As the FDCC plan was legally subject to a strategic environmental assessment, the government cannot lawfully implement measures which modify key elements of the FDCC that were included in the environmental report, without first undertaking a new strategic environmental assessment factoring in the carbon lock-in effects of grandfathering. In order to avoid the need to undertake a new strategic environmental assessment, or leave itself exposed to potential legal challenge, we recommend the government pursue alternative EPS design.

The full legal reasoning, as well as policy recommendations responding to both the EMR consultation and government response to the HOC EPS report, are contained in our consultation response.

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Published March 16, 2011
Found in ClimateEnergyFossil Fuels