Scunthorpe

British Steel win £100m pollution bail out

British Steel have won a £100 million pollution bail out from the government.

The Scunthorpe company made the urgent request after Brexit ended a European Union initiative abruptly.

All British companies have been frozen out of the carbon trading scheme, so the government has been forced to step in and lend money to purchase carbon credits.

Those free carbon credits allow industrial polluters to pay for the emissions they produced in the previous year.

British Steel had used last year’s permits to fund working capital requirements. It was left unable to pay for the current round of carbon credits, and as such faced a large EU fine.

Greg Clark, the business secretary, announced the decision on Wednesday, May 1 to help British Steel meet their environmental commitments.

Community, the steelworkers’ trade union welcomed the government intervention.

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said: “I was pleased to hear the good news from Greg Clark. It’s encouraging that the government has listened to concerns from industry and unions.

“It would not be right for UK companies to suffer due to delays in concluding Brexit. The government’s intervention means British Steel can focus on ensuring the company continues to perform rather than casting round for solutions to what could have been an extremely serious cashflow problem.

“This is absolutely the right approach from government and we hope this is a sign that there will be further interventions to ensure the UK steel industry can compete on a level playing field.”