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Calls to eliminate ETS 'legal loophole'

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A Scottish Conservative MEP has voiced concerns that the EU’s flagship Emissions Trading System (ETS) policy is in need of a major change in order to eliminate a ‘legal loophole’.

European Parliament designated law maker, Mr Ian Duncan, is seeking to close a ‘loophole’ which leaves oil and gas operators liable to pay for emissions permits for the electricity they generate offshore due being exempt from certain allowances.

The Scottish MEP believes that removing this loophole will boost the North Sea oil and gas sector by £1.5billion in ETS free allowances – which the sector is not currently entitled to, as its platforms are not connected to the electricity grid and cannot pass costs onto consumers.

“Removing this loophole could save the North Sea oil and gas industry billions of pounds of lost revenue,” he said.

“I will push as hard as I can to convince my colleagues in the European Parliament and the Council that this is a common sense proposal worth supporting.”

If Mr Duncan’s calls are heard, oil and gas companies could be eligible for future free allowances from 2020 right up until 2030, when ETS will be reviewed.

“Right now the ETS is like a car without an engine – we need to ensure it is fit to do the job it should and drive emissions reductions in Europe,” said Mr Duncan.