The energy giant was slapped with a massive fine of £2.8m due to the failure to report co2 emissions from one of its chemical plants in Fife by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). A “sharp mistake of breath” turned out to be a costly one for the oil giant. The fine is now the largest financial penalty enforced for an environmental wrongdoing in the history of Britain.
SEPA says the fine was imposed under ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations’ and it was an obligatory penalty for breaking ‘EU Emissions Trading Scheme’.
In 2008 in a report SEPA said that the company failed to mention emissions of about 33,000 tones of carbon dioxide from its chemical plant in Mosmorran and the fine was issued by SEPA in 2011.
SEPA spokesman said that the ExxonMobil case was charged for a reporting mistake, and the punishment was a compulsory consequence of breaking the ‘EU Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations’. He also stated the fact this wasn’t a prosecution case as no direct harm was caused to environment by ExxonMobil’s error. And that’s why SEPA did not launch a thorough investigation.
ExxonMobil regretted for their misconduct and took full responsibility. Spokesman for ExxonMobil said that the company deeply regretted the mistakes made related to the reports of co2 emissions under the ‘European Union Emissions Trading System’.
ExxonMobil considers the alarming increasing rate of greenhouse gas emission as a serious threat to mankind and also worthy of taking take action against.
Director of WWF Scotland’s, Richard Dixon said that it’s awfully embarrassing for a highly resourced company like ExxonMobil to admit their incapability to fill up a simple form and get fined almost £3 million for the mistake.
He also said that in the past there had been other examples of companies under-reporting their involvement in climate changing. ‘European Trading Scheme’ was created to limit the pollution from industries and bring companies in a leash. So it’s quite right that the fine should be high for breaking the law.
He hoped that from now on ExxonMobil will be careful reporting the right data and this huge fine would be a message to other companies.
Details of this incident were only published in an enforcement report of SEPA, later uncovered by an environmental journal. Environmental groups said that this large scaled fine should have been broadcasted more widely to reveal the negligence of the oil companies.
The fine money has been given to the government of Scotland
and it will be spent for several environment projects.