Thirty-five installations were fined for failing to comply with EU ETS rules in 2014, up by a third year-on-year, while as many as 10% of aircraft operators also snubbed the measures, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The non-compliant installations spanned nine countries, one more than last year, the EEA found in its second annual report on how the ETS law is applied across EU member states and other participating nations.
Those sites were located in Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK. Most firms were fined because they failed to submit verified emissions data before the annual Mar. 31 deadline.
The report was compiled from country responses for 2014, but the EEA said in some cases it was unclear whether the numbers reported referred to several years.
The EEA said the largest operator penalty was for €19.8 million by Italy for a failure to notify of changes to capacity or activity levels.
However, an Italian government agency source told Carbon Pulse that that number was an aggregate figure of fines levied on more than one installation and going back as far as 2008.
The EEA said it considered the number of ETS penalties relatively low as it represented just 0.3% of the nearly 11,400 regulated stationary installations.
It found that in general, ETS compliance was very high, with 99.5% of verified emissions covered by surrendered allowances in 2014.
The number of installations fined for emitting more than the number of allowances handed in fell by 58% year-on-year to 10 operators in seven countries.
The report found that compliance by aircraft operators was much lower, though it did point out that the 2014 compliance deadline a year ago was the first for carriers under revised laws.
Airlines have been part of the ETS since 2012, but regulators postponed compliance requirements over 2013 and 2014 amid diplomatic wrangling over the scheme that has temporarily limited the regulation to intra-EU flights.
Sixty-three aircraft operators were given penalties for not surrendering a sufficient number of carbon units to cover those two years, a figure representing more than 10% of the 596 covered by the EU ETS.
“However, it is understood that countries were still issuing fines for 2012 in 2015, and, therefore, with the combined compliance cycle for 2013 and 2014, this reporting may correspond to several years,” the EEA said.
A further three countries – Italy, Poland and Sweden – imposed fines on aircraft operators for non-compliance in emissions reporting.
Some 25 countries responded to the agency’s survey by the Jun. 30, 2015 deadline, out of the total 31 nations participating in the ETS. The number of responses was up from 19 a year earlier.
The six reporting laggards this time around were Austria, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Latvia, and Spain.
The report was published a day after the UK government released its latest round of EU ETS non-compliance penalties, which saw eight installations fined a total £100,000 for infractions dating back to 2008.
By Ben Garside – email@example.com