The UK will offer a financial incentive to consumers that install renewable heat energy generating technologies certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, an independent third party standard. The standard for heat pumps has been changed to align with the requirements of the Energy-related Products Directive.

This was notified in the EU’s technical regulation information system on 11 May.

A Friends of the Earth report has claimed that if the UK leaves the EU and joins the EEA, it would no longer need to comply with some of the “most environmentally significant policies” including on biodiversity and the water framework directive. The current UK Coalition Government claims that habitat rules are hampering development  though NGOs claim there is little evidence to back this up. One safety net for the UK environment lies in the EU single market air quality and waste requirements, which the UK would need to continue adhering to in order to participate.

On May 1st the UK Supreme Court ruled that Britain is in breach of the EU Air Quality Directive. Yet immediate enforcement due to the ruling is set to be delayed up to 18 months as the Supreme Courts queries the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on certain legal issues arising from the case. The UK had already been granted a 5 year extension to the original 2010 deadline for the directive’s NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) limits. As it stands the City of London has the highest NO2 pollution of any capital city in the European Union.