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UK takes delivery of expanded CO2 emissions system

Module automates reporting processes

The Environment Agency has implemented the latest module of its CO2 emissions trading scheme, in order to address industrial works and power stations.

Module 2 of the Emissions Trading Scheme Workflow Automation Project (ETSWAP) automates the processes associated with reporting CO2 emissions data for stationary installations covered by the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

The module was provided by SFW and will be used when operators submit reports of all their carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 by the March 2012 deadline.

The first module of ETSWAP was delivered by SFW over a year ago, so that aviation operators could report their emissions data for 2010 by a March 2011 deadline. This allowed the Environment Agency to calculate the free emissions credits that will be allocated to airlines for 2012, the first year they will be covered by the emissions trading scheme.

Last year the European Union carbon trading IT system was closed down after a major security scare, reportedly affecting different connected systems in the Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Poland and Estonia. Part of the security problem was said to be that some member states declined to pay for changes to their own systems mandated by the commission, arguing the steps were too expensive. Nevertheless, those changes had been ordered after the EU discovered in 2010 that hackers were accessing carbon allowance lists. It is understood the problem has been rectified.

In the UK's recent upgrade, the Environment Agency procured ETSWAP on behalf of all UK regulators of the emissions trading system, including the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The web-based ETSWAP system supports compliance procedures for regulators and is designed to enable them to carry out their duties in a more effective way.

ETSWAP will be made available for purchase by other agencies in Europe who currently rely on other approaches, such as spreadsheets which are sent by email between hundreds of operators and regulators.

Sue Stocks, national trading and regulatory services manager at the Environment Agency, said: "It is very important for the EA to have reliable systems in place to help us manage the complex communication and workflows required to ensure all parties comply with the EU ETS.

"This is especially true now 600 aviation operators have been added to the 700 stationary emitters already covered by the scheme in the UK. Many of these aviation operators are distributed in different time zones around the world and ETSWAP enables us to communicate with them effectively."

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