The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has been a thorn in the side of data centre operators for many years. ETS is (correctly) aimed at large, permanently operating combustion plants. However, it also captures data centres where it is costly and burdensome and delivers no policy outcome. In this context it is a prime example of a poorly-designed and inaccurately targeted policy measure. To add insult to injury it is implemented more onerously in the UK than elsewhere in Europe. However, after years of lobbying by techUK and other groups, the Commission has recognised that it doesn’t make sense to have a scheme where 23% of participants generate 0.08% of emissions, so there is provision in the next phase to exempt this “ultra low” category of emitters, provided they can prove their status. The UK is implementing these proposals, set out under Article 27A of the Directive, partially. Our response to the consultation therefore focuses on only two aspects of the UK’s proposals – Article 27A and a section on how we might simplify monitoring and reporting, since the sector has already worked successfully with the EA on this issue.
techUK input on the Future of Carbon Pricing in the UK
Data centres could be exempt from Phase IV of EU ETS or its equivalent, if Government implements the legislation sensibly.