UK: Budget 2012: Environment Related Aspects

Last Updated: 23 March 2012
Article by Paul Sheridan and Valentina Keys

Yesterday the Chancellor delivered his speech on the 2012 Budget. "Environmentally sustainable must always be fiscally sustainable" was the soundbite. The Chancellor made a series of announcements pledging to reduce environment related red tape and cut administrative burdens. A brief summary of some of the key announcements made in the Budget are set out below (a separate LawNow summaries key features relating to clean/renewable energy).

Energy Efficiency

The following key measures are to be used to promote energy efficiency:

Green Investment Bank (GIB): The GIB is to promote and finance clean energy and energy efficiency. It will make its first investments in April 2012 (subject to State Aid approval). GIB's priority areas include commercial and industrial waste processing and recycling; generation of energy from waste; non-domestic energy efficiency; and supporting the Green Deal.

Enhanced capital allowances: The list of designated energy efficient (and water-efficient) technologies qualifying for enhanced capital allowances will be updated during summer 2012 (again subject to State aid approval).  This may be subject to change once the Green Deal Financing measures are announced.

Environment and construction

The following announcements were made with regard to built environment and real estate:

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme : The Government will continue to consult on how to simplify the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) in order to reduce administrative burdens on business. If significant administrative savings are not deliverable, the Government will bring forward proposals (in autumn 2012) to replace CRC revenues with an alternative environment related tax. Allowances sold with respect to 2012–13 emissions will be £12 per tonne of carbon dioxide.

Zero-carbon homes relief: The stamp duty land tax relief for zero-carbon homes will end on 30 September 2012.

Planning and the presumption in favour of sustainable development: On the 27th March 2012 the Government is due to publish the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This will feature the much debated "presumption in favour of sustainable development".

Aggregates levy: The Government is to delay the planned increase in the aggregates levy rate (from £2.00 to £2.10 per tonne) until 1 April 2013. This will avoid putting additional pressure on the aggregates industry in Northern Ireland, following the suspension of the aggregates levy credit scheme.

Waste

The following announcements were made with regard to waste:

Landfill tax rate: standard rate of landfill tax is to increase by £8 per tonne to £72 per tonne from 1 April 2013. The lower rate of landfill tax will remain frozen at £2.50 per tonne in 2013–14.

Landfill Communities Fund: the value of the landfill communities fund for 2012–13 will remain unchanged at £78.1 million. As a result, the cap on contributions by landfill operators will be amended to 5.6 per cent. Future decisions on the value of the fund will take into account the level of unspent funds held by environmental bodies.

Scottish Landfill Sites: the Government is to introduce retrospective legislation in the Finance Bill 2012 to correct landfill tax legislation concerning the definition of a landfill site applicable in Scotland so as to align the position in Scotland with the rest of the UK (to be effective from 21 March 2000).

Packaging waste: The Government will legislate later in 2012 to increase packaging recycling targets between 2013 and 2017. Targets will increase annually by 3 per cent for aluminium, 5 per cent for plastic and 1 per cent for steel. Glass recycling targets will be split by end use: to achieve the best environmental outcome from the recovery activities, the intention is to encourage more glass to go to re-melt applications and reduce the amount of glass going into aggregates over time.

Transport

The following announcements were made with regard to transport:

Company car tax rates 2014–16: The appropriate percentage of list price subject to tax will increase by one percentage point for cars emitting more than 75 grams/kilometre of carbon dioxide (to a maximum of 35 per cent in 2014–15), and by two percentage points (to a maximum of 37 per cent) in both 2015–16 and 2016–17.

Zero carbon and ultra low carbon emission vehicles: From April 2015, the five-year exemption for zero carbon and ultra low carbon emission vehicles will come to an end (as legislated in Finance Act 2010). The applicable percentage for zero emission and low carbon vehicles will be 13 per cent from April 2015 and this will increase by two percentage points in 2016–17.

Air passenger duty: An 8% rise in air passenger duty will come into force on 1 April 2012. This will be followed by another increase in April 2013.

Airport expansion: The Government has signalled that steps may be taken to address the lack of airport capacity in south-east England. The transport secretary is expected make an announcement in this regard this summer. 

Emissions

Climate change levy (CCL) rates: CCL rates will increase in line with the RPI from 1 April 2013. In particular, energy used in certain metal recycling processes will be liable to a reduced rate of 20 per cent of the main rates from 1 April 2012.

Climate Change Agreements (CCAs): CCAs will be extended to 2023. As announced at Autumn Statement 2011, the climate change levy discount on electricity for CCA participants available from 1 April 2013 will be increased to 90% as part of a package of measures to support energy-intensive industries exposed to international competition.

Environment related deregulation

The Government has pledged to cut environment related red-tape. The following are envisaged: 

  • Consultation on simplifying the system for recording waste transfers;
  • Develop an electronic system for registering waste transfers and consider allowing electronically uploaded hazardous waste returns;
  • Reduce burdens on small businesses from producer responsibility obligations (for example, exempting more small batteries producers from having to join a Battery Compliance Scheme);
  • Consultation on excessive compliance costs for business in relation to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations;
  • Simplify and speed up application procedures for environmental permits;
  • Introduce new statutory guidance on contaminated land to focus on high risk land and clarify what land won't be caught by the contaminated land regime;
  • Work with the European Commission to revise guidance on data sharing under the Chemicals (REACH) requirements;
  • Simplify and strengthen air quality legislation, including removing obsolete regulations and modernising others;
  • Focus Environment Agency enforcement on high risk cases and take forward trials of auditing by accredited third parties;
  • Launch sector-based reviews of regulation with a view to enforcement at the lowest possible cost to business; starting with chemicals manufacturing, volunteer events, and small businesses in food manufacturing.

Reduce the cost, complexity and delay to businesses from application of the Habitats Directive. The Government will establish a Major Infrastructure and Environment Unit to engage at an early stage with nationally significant infrastructure projects on potential Habitats Directive issues, ensuring evidence plans are agreed upfront and identifying where the test of "over-riding public interest" may apply.

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq

Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

The original publication date for this article was 22/03/2012.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.