In the UK, during the past 2–3 years, schemes and obligations have been set up to encourage the establishment of renewable energy projects in pursuit of government targets.
Carbon trading units
The Kyoto Protocol includes the option for countries to receive ‘credits’ for increasing carbon pools (sinks that absorb atmospheric carbon, thereby helping to offset the effects of greenhouse gas emissions).
Renewable obligation certificates
Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) were introduced to encourage the establishment of renewable energy projects, in pursuit of meeting the government’s targets on using renewable energy sources.
Renewable obligations were introduced to England, Wales and Scotland in 2001 with a planned 25-year duration. Under the obligations, electricity suppliers must ensure that a proportion of the electricity they generate comes from renewable sources.
Packaging waste recovery notes
Packaging Waste Recovery Notes (PRNs) were introduced in 1997 to promote recovery and recycling of packaging (defined as materials for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods). Producers of packaging material have an obligation to recover this material.