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4th Report, 2011 (Session 3)

Subordinate Legislation

Remit:

To consider and report on the Scottish economy, enterprise, energy, tourism and all other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth apart from those covered by the remits of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change and the Local Government and Communities Committees.

Membership:

Ms Wendy Alexander
Gavin Brown
Rob Gibson (Deputy Convener)
Christopher Harvie
Marilyn Livingstone
Lewis Macdonald
Stuart McMillan
Iain Smith (Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Stephen Imrie

Senior Assistant Clerk
Joanna Hardy

Assistant Clerk
Diane Barr

Subordinate Legislation

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

1. At its meeting on 2 March 2011, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee considered the following affirmative instrument—

The draft Energy Act 2008 (Storage of Carbon Dioxide) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

2. The details of the draft amendment Order and the explanatory notes can be found on the website of the Office of Public Sector information.1

Background

3. The purpose of the Regulations is to partly implement Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (“the Directive”).

4. The provisions of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of the Energy Act 2008 (“the Act”) prohibit the exploration or storage of carbon dioxide without a licence. This prohibition and licensing regime only applies to the offshore area from 0-200 nautical miles (nm). Scottish Ministers are the licensing authority for the territorial waters adjacent to Scotland (0-12nm) and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change is the licensing authority for the offshore area beyond the 12 mile limit (12-200nm).

5. Article 1 of the Directive provides that it applies in the territory of Member States, their exclusive economic zones and their continental shelves. Articles 5 and 6 of the Directive provide that Member States must ensure that no exploration or storage of, carbon dioxide takes place without a permit. These Articles are implemented by regulation 2 of the Regulations, which extend the territorial scope of the prohibition of unlicensed activities in Chapter 3 of Part 1 of the Act to onshore Scotland and its internal waters. The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc.) Regulations 2010 make provision for the operation of the licensing regime, and will come into force at the same time as the Regulations.

6. The Regulations have to be in force by 25 June 2011 in order to meet the deadline for the transposition of the Directive.

Consultation

7. A consultation carried out by the UK Government in June 2008 (“Towards Carbon Capture and Storage”) which sought views on the further steps that could be taken to prepare for and support the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. The consultation was largely based on the proposals for the Directive. The Scottish Government supported this consultation across the UK on the basis that Scottish industrial stakeholders had expressed a preference for one single UK consultation and the Scottish Ministers have been informed by the views expressed in making this instrument.

Financial Effects

8. The amendment of the Act extends the powers of the Scottish Ministers to licence storage of carbon dioxide for the purpose of implementing the Directive. However, Article 4 of the Directive provides that Member States have the right not to allow carbon storage in any part of their territory, and the policy position throughout the United Kingdom is that no licences will be granted for onshore storage of carbon dioxide. In those circumstances, there will be no impact of the costs of business. A full Regulatory Impact Assessment will be carried out for the Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2010 referred to above.

Transposition of EU Directive

9. The Regulations will meet part of the requirements to transpose the EU Directive on CO2 storage by 25 June 2011. The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (S.S.I. 2011/24) implement those Articles of the Directive which deal with the carbon storage licensing regime, and will be accompanied by a detailed Transposition Note.

Subordinate Legislation Committee Report

10. The Subordinate Legislation Committee (SLC) considered this instrument and agreed that no points arose in relation to the instrument.2

Motion

11. After the debate had concluded, the Minister moved motion S3M-7800—

That the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee recommends that the draft Energy Act 2008 (Storage of Carbon Dioxide) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 be approved.

12. The motion was agreed to by the Committee.

Recommendation to the Parliament

13. As a result, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee recommends that the draft Energy Act 2008 (Storage of Carbon Dioxide) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 be approved.


2 Subordinate Legislation Committee 8th Report, 8 February 2011.