Not much has happened recently on the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). The helpdesk tells me that the Performance League Table for 2011/12 will be out some time this month. No great urgency, then. I doubt if we will see a trace in the press unless Manchester United comes to the top again. The Chancellor did mutter something earlier in the year about replacing CRC. Will he announce this in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday, 5th December? As far as I can see he has three options:
- Leave things as they are and let the “tax” keep rolling in
- Increase the price of carbon allowances
- Announce the replacement of the scheme, (no doubt preceded by another consultation)
My prediction is that he will do nothing beyond reducing the list of 28 fuels to four, as already suggested . He will not increase the carbon price because he doesn’t believe in restricting emissions if this will restrict the short-term performance of the economy. He won’t replace the scheme because it will take time and whatever he ends up with will have to yield as much revenue as CRC does at present, so why bother? In any case, the civil servants will be gearing up to administer the new Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting requirements. That looks even more complex than CRC, although it won’t raise any revenues. Yet.
Let’s see what Wednesday brings!