British industry will be using renewable energy to help it meet targets for reducing carbon emissions in the world's first nationwide emissions trading system. Under the UK's voluntary system, which starts in April 2002, companies will sign up to emission reduction targets. Incentives worth £215 million over five years to encourage firms to take part in trading will be allocated by auction next year. The trading system is linked to the renewables obligation, the UK's new system for promoting renewable energy. Electricity suppliers who over achieve on their renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) will be able to convert them to carbon credits and trade them to companies anxious to reduce their emission and thereby avoid financial penalties. Electricity suppliers, however, will not be able to redeem allowances from the scheme against their obligations. Publishing the trading system's final framework, environment minister Michael Meacher said: "This scheme establishes the UK as a world leader in the field of greenhouse gas emissions trading, giving British business a head start in this developing new market."
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