Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the British Government on the implementation of a UK emissions trading scheme that is linked with the EU emissions trading scheme.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: Under the Northern Ireland Protocol NI electricity generating installations will remain in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS) following the end of the Implementation Period. The remaining ETS installations will participate in either a UK ETS or Carbon Emissions Tax. Consequently, Northern Ireland will have to run a dual system of carbon pricing.
Over the course of this Assembly, I have had regular engagement with Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth and my counterparts from the other Devolved Administrations on issues relating to emissions trading, through participation in Inter-ministerial Groups and Quadrilateral meetings. I have also corresponded directly on this issue with Minister Kwarteng.
Throughout this ongoing engagement I have stated my preference for a linking agreement between the UK ETS and EU ETS. This would allow NI electricity generating installations to be folded into a linked UK ETS and avoid the requirement for a dual system of carbon pricing.