UK Emissions Trading Group

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Global warming.jpg This article is part of the Climate project of Spinwatch.

The UK Emissions Trading Group (ETG) is a business-led association of companies and their trade associations who are affected by or benefit from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS); "ETG's membership represents 95% of UK carbon emissions covered by the EU ETS."[1] They were set up with UK government support, and subsequently recommended the formation of the 5-year voluntary UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme that began in April 2002. The group is a forum on business issues with the EU-ETS influencing UK policy development "at a formative stage" and works closely with government on all emissions trading issues.[2]

The ETG operates as a non-profit making company funded by member subscriptions.[3]


According to a BERR presentation given by Jed Jones in the Osaka climate change seminar 2008:

The Confederation of British Industry approached the UK government regarding the consideration of an emissions trading scheme as a means of reducing UK emissions rather than using taxation. As a result the UK ETG was formed with the remit to act as an advisory forum to the government on the effect on business of government climate change mitigation policies.
The government departments involved included the Department of the Environment, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury.
Initially, approximately 30 companies from the energy intensive industries with relevant service providers
Today, the ETG has 83 subscribing members and 23 subscribing Trade Associations.
The UK ETS was voluntary and relatively small but it prepared UK industry for participation in the mandatory EU ETS.[4]

Influence at Copenhagen

The ETG enjoys a good relationship with the UK government and issues high level reports which appear to have considerable influence over the UK's position in climate negotiations. [5]

In August 2009, ETG’s Working Group 4 submitted a paper to the UK Government on their views on 'what would constitute a robust international agreement at Copenhagen'.In October Phil Tucker and Peter Betts from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)fed back on the document. As a result the Government requested the working group to write another paper which 'prioritises a list of key elements for negotiation from the perspective of UK industry and indicates what would be the preferred outcomes against each of them.'[6]

The paper is fairly un-ambitious and opens with the caveat that 'Copenhagen should be considered as the starting point for a robust and sustainable global deal. The aim should be for finalisation of the principles as soon as possible'. It goes on to list the key priorities for UK industry, many elements of which were (perhaps unsurprisingly) part of the Copenhagen deal, being common to other industries and industrial nations, and promoting the cheapest and least disruptive course of action for them.

key priorities detailed in the paper include;

  • That forest preservation and deforestation are considered critical elements to a deal being achieved.
  • That carbon trading, and in particular the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are continued and strengthened.[7]


The ETG was formed in 1999 under the auspices of Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment (ACBE) and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as an informal body who would create the initial UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme that began in April 2002 (a 5-year voluntary scheme). [8]


Trade Associations


Company members include metals and mining industry, defence, energy industry, airlines, carbon trading and low carbon sector and energy intensive industries.

AEA Energy and Environment | Alcan Smelting & Power UK | Asda | BAE Systems | Baker & McKenzie | Barclays Capital | BG Group]] | BHP Billiton | BP | British Airways | British Energy | British Plasterboard | British Sugar | BSI Management Systems | BVQI UK | Calyon | Cantor/CO2e | Carbon Capital Markets | Carbon Registry Services | Carbon Trust | Castle Cement Ltd | Cemex | Centrica Energy | ChevronTexaco | CICS Ltd | Citi | Clifford Chance | Climate Change Capital | ConocoPhillips | Corus | Dalkia Utilities Services | Deloitte & Touche | DNV Certification | Drax Power | E.ON UK | Ecosecurities | EDF Energy | En Vision | Environment Exchange | Enviros | ERM CVS | ESB International | Eversheds | Exxonmobil | Eyre Consulting | Future Perfect | Grangemouth CHP Limited | Hammonds | Hedra | ICIS Technology/Siemens | Ineos Fluor | International Power | KPMG | Lafarge | Land Securities | LRQA Limited | Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP | Murco Petroleum Limited | My Carbon World | Nabarro | National Grid | Natsource Tullett Europe | Nera Consulting | Nestle UK Ltd | Novelis | Pilkington | Point Carbon | PricewaterhouseCoopers | Rocfuel | Rolls Royce | RWE npower | Sainsbury's | Scottish and Southern Energy | ScottishPower | Sd3 | Seabank Power Limited | SGS United Kingdom | Shell U.K. Limited | Singleton Birch | St Regis Paper | Tarmac Central | Teesside Power | Total | UK Coal[10]


Previous people


The ETG operates as a non-profit making company funded by member subscriptions.[13]


Address: Golden Cross House, 8 Duncannon Street, London WC2N 4JF
Phone: 020 7484 5274



  1. UK ETG website Homepage Accessed 16/01/10
  2. UK ETG website Homepage Accessed 16/01/10
  3. UK ETG website About Accessed 16/01/10
  4. Jed Jones, BERR, Climate Change Projects Office UK private sector participation in emissions trading and the carbon markets CCPO/UKT&I climate change seminar, Osaka, February 2008. Accessed 08/02/10
  5. See ETG website News Accessed 08/02/10
  6. ETG website NewsETG Working Group 4 Subgroup: Priority elements to be delivered as pre-requisites for a robust international agreement at Copenhagen – October 2009 Accessed 08/02/10
  7. ETG website NewsETG Working Group 4 Subgroup: Priority elements to be delivered as pre-requisites for a robust international agreement at Copenhagen – October 2009 Accessed 08/02/10
  8. UK ETG website About Accessed 16/01/10
  9. UK ETG website Members- Trade Associations Accessed 16/01/10
  10. UK ETG website Members - Companies Accessed 16/01/10
  11. UK ETG website About Accessed 16/01/10
  12. SMI conferences online Emissions Trading conference 2006 Accessed 08/02/10
  13. UK ETG website About Accessed 16/01/10