UK Schools Go Green, Join Carbon Trading Scheme

BRITISH state schools are to be included under the government’s new domestic carbon emissions trading scheme from April 2010, the environment minister Hilary Benn said.

 

Energy use in schools will be measured and count toward the emissions permit quotas of local authorities, which in turn will be encouraged to advise schools on energy efficiency, Benn said. “Young people stand to gain most tomorrow from the action we take on climate change today. That’s why schools should be included in the shift to a low carbon economy.”

Britain has also earmarked £110 million for installing renewable energy technology in more than 200 secondary schools undergoing refurbishment over the next three years.

Under a separate low carbon building programme, organisations can apply for UK government subsidies covering up to half the installation cost of renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), a mandatory, revenue-neutral scheme to be launched in 2010, obliges around 5 000 energy-intensive commercial and public-sector organisations including supermarkets, universities, banks and hotel chains to buy permits if they emit above their share of climate-warming greenhouse gases.

Organisations which have cut their emissions can sell excess permits to those emitting above their limit.

The CRC, part of the government’s new Climate Change Bill, is estimated will help Britain cut carbon emissions by four million tonnes by 2020, the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road, Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in March.

The Climate Change Bill, which will set a legally-binding target for cuts in national carbon emissions, was originally intended to be on the statute books last month but is well behind schedule and unlikely to become law in the near future.

The government announced last December its long-term ambition for every new home and school built from 2016 to be zero-carbon. –– Reuters.

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