CARBON FAST FORWARD: Mapping the future of UK carbon pricing in Manchester

Published 14:24 on February 7, 2020  /  Last updated at 09:45 on December 14, 2020  / Ben Garside /  EMEA, EU ETS, UK ETS

Last month's Brexit climax finally brought long-sought answers for British emitters on their EU ETS obligations, though navigating the way ahead presents several challenges for companies managing their carbon and energy risk.

Last month’s Brexit climax finally brought long-sought answers for British emitters on their EU ETS obligations, though navigating the way ahead presents several challenges for companies managing their carbon and energy risk.

Carbon Fast Forward – Manchester on Feb. 25 will address those challenges in a condensed one-day event that builds on the success of the annual Carbon Forward global carbon markets conference, bringing the same level of insight and expertise you’ve come to expect.

It is Carbon Forward’s second regional seminar, following last April’s sold-out event in Athens.

Designed for smaller emitters, Carbon Fast Forward showcases how to survive and thrive in the EU ETS and what to expect in the post-Brexit UK carbon pricing environment.


Upon its formal exit from the EU on Jan. 31, the UK announced it would commence its 2019 free EU ETS allocations within days and would aim to start auctioning its share of allowances for both 2019 and 2020 in early March, confirming along with the European Commission that the year-long suspension on distributing EUAs was finally being lifted.

The announcement clears up much of the uncertainty surrounding the country’s allowances, which represent around 10% of annual ETS supply, with the UK and its emitters to now remain covered by the scheme under a transitional arrangement that will run until at least Dec. 31, 2020.

The UK also last week confirmed that regulated British emitters must report their ETS emissions and surrender carbon units against their 2019 and 2020 output, despite the fact that the country is poised to exit the bloc and its carbon market at the end of this year.

But negotiations on a future EU-UK relationship have thrown up fresh doubts, as the British government appeared to reject an EU proposal that would involve linking the bloc’s ETS to a separate British carbon market.

This suggests that Britain could seek to diverge more dramatically with the EU on climate policy, potentially opting for a standalone ETS, one linked to another market, or a carbon tax.  However, weakening climate or loosening environmental rules would not be a good look for the country that is due to host the critical COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow later this year.

Joe Cooper from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will speak at the Manchester event, giving the government’s perspective on the way ahead.

“Whatever system the UK chooses to have on carbon pricing, it’s going to have a huge impact on power markets out to 2030 and beyond,” said Matthew Jones, senior analyst on EU power and carbon for ICIS, who will speak about the potential impacts at the Manchester event.

“The overall price of CO2 in the UK, and the price difference to that of the EU ETS, will affect thermal generation levels, net flows, power prices, renewable economics, and emissions levels on both sides of the channel,” he added – outlining elements of crucial importance to emitters of all sizes and from all sectors.

The UK energy sector has clear aims for what the future EU-UK trading relationship should provide.

“The deal should provide a framework for collaboration and cooperation to deliver secure, clean and affordable energy to all consumers, preserving existing benefits and creating new ones, and put in place solid foundations to fight climate change,” said India Redrup, policy manager for Energy UK, the sector’s trade association.

“The establishment of a UK scheme linked to the EU ETS will allow us to benefit from the liquidity of the world’s largest emissions trading scheme, offer continuity after the transition period ends, and also facilitate an equitable trading relationship with the Single Energy Market in Northern Ireland,” added Redrup, another Manchester speaker.

Among the other experts joining event partners Carbon Pulse and Redshaw Advisors will be:

  • Paul Sammon, engagement manager, Vivid Economics,
  • Mark Burrows, strategic client lead – energy solutions, Npower,
  • Andrew McDermott, technical director, British Ceramic Confederation
  • Michael McGowan, sustainability manager, Ibstock
  • Sarah Fryer, operations director, Swan Energy

Programme outline:

  • The UK perspective on UK ETS, carbon tax, EU ETS compliance and hitting net zero emissions
  • Comments from the industry on the EU ETS and future plans for the UK
  • Measuring and reporting update: What’s changing?
  • Industry’s perspective: How can you budget for carbon in a volatile market?
  • Forecasting carbon, power and gas: projections for the UK and EU
  • Your carbon risk: setting a strategy
  • Going carbon neutral: best practices for offsetting and footprinting

TICKETS: Secure your place now to take advantage of our limited remaining places at the event at Manchester Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel


SPEAKERS/SPONSORS: To inquire about opportunities, email us at

We look forward to seeing you in Manchester!