UK Emissions Trading Scheme

Sign up for UK ETS updates

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme Authority, comprised of the four governments of the United Kingdom, is launching a new service for stakeholders who want to receive direct updates on the UK ETS.

Subscribers will receive notifications about the scheme, including UK ETS Authority guidance and templates, legislation, policy and consultations.

Sign up to receive UK ETS updates here.

UK Emissions Trading Scheme

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) is one of the key policies introduced by the UK to address greenhouse gas emissions and help meet its 2020 emission reduction targets. The UK ETS will also contribute to delivering Scotland’s goal of a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045.

Installations and aircraft operators covered by the UK ETS are those which carry out activities listed in Schedule 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020. These activities include combustion, production and processing of metals, production of chemicals, mineral industries, pulp and paper industries, carbon capture and storage and flights departing from or arriving in the UK.

This web page has been designed to assist operators, or others responsible for managing carbon emissions, by providing the necessary information and guidance for participation in the UK ETS.

METS (Manage your UK Emissions Trading Scheme reporting system)

Manage your UK Emission Trading Scheme reporting system (METS) has now launched, and ETSWAP is no longer available. Please use METS for all permit related activities. You can access METS through the manage your UK Emissions Trading Scheme reporting website.

Guidance on setting up your account and using METS can be found in the related items section of this page.

Development will continue on METS and we would welcome operator involvement in METS user testing for future functionality, please get in touch with us at emission.trading@sepa.org.uk

Monitoring Methodology Plans

The data collection exercise in summer 2019 required you to submit to us a report on your installation’s activity levels (baseline data report) as well as a plan showing how you gathered that information (monitoring methodology plan MMP). The baseline data reports will be used to calculate the level of free allocation which your installation will receive for the period 2021 to 2025. The process of calculating your allocation is on-going at present. The monitoring methodology plan (MMP) also contained how you intend to monitor information relating to your installation’s activity level going forward. This plan should be implemented at present as the 1st report on your annual activity levels will be provided to us in 2021. We have produced an interim guidance note on MMPs to assist you in reviewing your MMP; this should illustrate what we will be looking for. The guidance note will be updated with further details on the activity level change regulations and the reporting process. It can be found in the related items section.

Information on UK ETS Hospital and Small Emitter Opt Out Scheme and Ultra Small Emitters

The UK ETS offers an opt out scheme for hospital and small emitter operators, allowing them to participate in the UK ETS without the need to participate in allowance auctions. Further information on participation within the UK ETS for these operators can be found on Gov.UK – Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 1 January 2021

On behalf of the UK, SEPA published the “hospital and small emitter list for 2021-2025” of installations to be excluded from the EU ETS under Article 27 of the Directive from 1st January 2021 – Installations to be excluded under Article 27 scheme In accordance with the Schedule 7 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020, an installation under the UK ETS is a hospital or small emitter for the scheme years in the 2021-2025 allocation period if the installation is included in the list

Ultra Small Emitters

The UK ETS offers an opt out scheme for ultra small emitters, providing for the exclusion from the main UK ETS of installations emitting less than 2,500 tCO2eq per year (excluding biomass emissions). In accordance with the Schedule 8 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020, an installation under the UK ETS is an ultra-small emitter for the scheme years in the 2021-2025 allocation period if the installation is included in the Installations to be excluded under Article 27 scheme list.

Article 50 and Article 60 Ministerial Direction

To ensure a consistent approach is taken by regulators in the issuing of civil penalties under Article 50 and Article 60 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020, Scottish Ministers have provided direction to SEPA. Details on these directions can be found on the Scottish Governments website for both Article 50 and Article 60.

Further Information

Further guidance and information can be found on the UK ETS Authorities pages at: Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 1 January 2021

For any general policy related questions on the UK ETS, you can contact the Emissions Trading Scheme team at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy via emissions.trading@beis.gov.uk For any questions from operators relating to your specific installation and the UK’s opt-out schemes, please contact your regulator:

  • Scotland – emission.trading@sepa.org.uk
  • Wales – GHGHelp@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk
  • Northern Ireland – emissions.trading@daera-ni.gov.uk
  • England – ethelp@environment-agency.gov.uk

Civil penalties

Participants or operators who have not complied with their legal requirements and received a penalty:

British Midland Regional Limited (in administration)

Contrary to Regulation 54(1) of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Regulations 2012 (SI 2012, No. 3038), aviation operator, British Midland Regional Limited (in administration), failed to surrender allowances equal to its aviation emissions for the 2018 calendar year by 30 April 2019.

Penalty £10,381,319.06 (published January 2024)

British Midland Regional Limited (in administration)

Contrary to Regulation 54(1) of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Regulations 2012 (SI 2012, No. 3038), aviation operator, British Midland Regional Limited (in administration), failed to surrender allowances equal to its aviation emissions for the 2019 calendar year by 30 April 2020.

Penalty £1,279,429.01 (published January 2024)

Arjowiggins Scotland Limited (in administration)

Failure to comply with condition 4 of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permit. The operator did not surrender sufficient allowances to cover its annual reportable emissions from the 2022 reporting year by 30 April 2023.

Penalty £2,545,800.00 (published January 2024)

Arjowiggins Scotland Limited (in administration)

Failure to return sufficient allowances in the UK Registry as required by a ‘Notice to Return Allowances’ issued, under article 34V of The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order.

Penalty £20,000.00 (published January 2024)

Diageo Scotland Limited

Failure to comply with Regulation 9 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Regulations 2012. A regulated activity was carried out at the Roseisle Complex, Elgin, Moray from 1 January 2013 to 23 July 2019 without a permit.

Penalty £507,624.78 (published September 2022)

Diageo Scotland Limited

Failure to comply with Regulation 9 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Regulations 2012. A regulated activity was carried out at the Glen Ord Distillery and Maltings, Muir of Ord, Inverness from 1 January 2013 to 23 July 2019 without a permit.

Penalty £358,611.92 (published September 2022)

Diageo Scotland Limited

Failure to comply with Regulation 9 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Regulations 2012. A regulated activity was carried out at the Burghead Maltings, King Street, Elgin from 1 January 2013 to 04 July 2019 without a permit.

Penalty £346,153.08 (published September 2022)

Pelagia UK Limited

Failure to comply with Regulation 9 of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Regulations 2012. A regulated activity was carried out at Greenwell Place, East Tullos from 1 January 2013 to 22 October 2018 without a permit.

Penalty £133,098.15 (published November 2021)

Shell (UK) Limited

Failure to comply with condition 2 and 4 of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permit. The operator did not accurately report emissions from the reporting year 2018 from the installation at Fife NGL Plant by 31 March 2019 or surrender sufficient allowances to cover all emissions by 30 April 2019.

Penalty £4,906.16 (published February 2022)

Shell (UK) Limited

Failure to comply with condition 2 of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permit. The operator did not accurately report emissions from the reporting year 2020 from the installation at St Fergus Gas Plant by 31 March 2021.

Penalty £3,750 (published February 2022)

Contact us

If you have any questions or require any further information or advice on any aspect of the ETS, please contact us at emission.trading@sepa.org.uk.