Energy giant ExxonMobil was fined a record amount of money in the United Kingdom for failing to report carbon dioxide emissions, BBC News reported Sunday. The company was fined £2.8m, or about $4 million, by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for not mentioning the 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide it had emitted from a chemical plant in Fife.
The company made the error in a 2008 report to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Both company and government spokespeople said it was an honest mistake. An Exxon spokesman said the energy company caught the error itself and reported the mistake to the Scottish government.
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The company was fined in 2010, but details about it only recently came to light in a government report released last week, the BBC said.
The fine was "a mandatory consequence of breaching" the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, said the BBC. The EU ETS is known as the world's first large emissions trading scheme. Companies that violate the scheme by making lapses in emissions reporting can be fined £83 for every ton that they miss.
The trading scheme's strict penalities can sometimes anger companies affected by the regulations. The European Union has recently been criticized by airline companies for including flights in its emissions trading system, the New Zealand Herald reported.