Appointing a ‘carbon regulator’ to oversee monitoring and reporting of progress on emissions reduction across the economy would help accelerate the transformation of the UK’s energy system, according to a report.
The Energy Systems Catapult, a not-for-profit organisation which looks to help decarbonise the energy system at the lowest cost, said a regulator could ensure that emissions reduction occurs in line with targets set under Carbon Budgets and the Paris Agreement.
Such a system would also make sure that reductions in emissions are measured and rewarded appropriately by policy support measures and other incentives.
Dr Danial Sturge, Practice Manager for Carbon Policy at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “Verifying carbon emissions can be straightforward when measured directly from a factory flue or when proxied through energy use, but challenges arise for sectors such as agriculture and land use where such measurements are not possible.
“Consumption-based emissions, such as those embodied in imported goods and services yield additional complexity due to the supply chain life cycle analysis required.”
Sturge said a carbon regulator that implements robust, economy-wide practices would remove barriers to innovation, and ensure that incentives drive technologies and processes that genuinely reduce emissions across all major emitting sectors.
“This in turn can provide a robust basis for policy design, standard setting and reporting, and incentive mechanisms to drive investment and operational decisions aligned with Carbon Budgets and Net Zero.”