“There is much that still needs to be resolved” surrounding the UK’s climate and energy policies following leaving the European Union. This is according to a new policy brief from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) analysing the “undeniably important impact” of Brexit on the UK meeting its net zero targets. When it comes to the UK emissions trading scheme (ETS), the UKERC highlighted the uncertainty over the UK’s carbon price with the UK ETS beginning formal operation on 1 January but a carbon price not being set until May, when prices reached £50 per tonne. Alongside this, the government stated in December’s energy white paper that the UK ETS would be “the world’s first net zero emissions trading scheme” and that it would “consult in due course on how to align the cap with an appropriate net zero trajectory”, which the UKERC said would require the expansion of the scheme to cover all sections of the economy. It has subsequently been announced that the UK ETS will not be tightened to align with net zero until 2023, if possible, and no later than 2024.
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