The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Withdrawal Agreement) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

Jurisdiction: UK

Commencement: 31st December 2020

Amends: The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012  

Mini Summary

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2012 implement the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) into UK law.


This comes into force immediately before IP completion day, the end of the implementation period of the UK leaving the EU.

As part of its exit from the EU, the UK is ceasing participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) at the end of the implementation period (currently 31st December 2020). Significant changes are made so that from 1st January 2021 these Regulations will apply in Northern Ireland (NI) only, for electricity generation for the wholesale electricity market in Ireland and NI. NI electricity generators will continue to be subject to the same monitoring and compliance obligations as they currently are under EU ETS.

Heat emissions will now be out of scope of EU ETS in NI; there is reported to only be one combined heat and power plant in NI that will be affected by this.

UK operators of a greenhouse gas emissions permit will still need to meet their obligations for any emissions during the transition period, i.e. up to 31st December 2020.

A previous amendment, The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations is revoked, as is the majority of The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations, which were made prior to the Northern Ireland Protocol being in effect and were used to provide certainty for EU ETS participants in the event of a no deal exit from the EU.

Following exit from the EU, the UK will likely impose a price on carbon emissions by implementing a UK ETS that is similar to EU ETS, or by implementing a UK carbon emissions tax. This will be established in separate legislation.


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