CAMEO is a non-profit making organisation designed to achieve the requirements of AQ1(05) in the most effective manner for its members. It requires cremation authorities to join CAMEO and provide information on abatement and burden sharing, which it collates and passes to DEFRA and the Scottish Government. In addition, this information is circulated around all members of CAMEO. Then, quite simply, those that can install abatement plant do so until at least 50% of cremations are abated. The cost, or burden, of this work is bourne by the entire CAMEO membership. As a result those members who have abated will receive an income stream from CAMEO to offset their costs and those who do not wish, or are unable, to abate can meet the requirements of AQ1(05) by making burden payments to CAMEO.
Most crematoria are operated by local authorities under statutory provisions contained in the various Local Government Acts. AQ1(05) recognises that crematorium operators will need to combine in order achieve burden sharing and local authorities will require the assurance that they have the necessary powers to enter into a burden sharing agreement with CAMEO. To provide that assurance, The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities sought Counsel’s Opinion in July 2005. A copy of the Opinion may be downloaded here.
The Government, through AQ1(05) published by DEFRA, requires no more than 50% of cremations to be abated, and recognises that this can be achieved through the burden sharing scheme CAMEO. Therefore, it is unnecessary, and arguably wrong to put the owners of crematoria and the bereaved to the expense of achieving more than a maximum 50% abatement.
In order to achieve no more than 50% abatement, whilst protecting the environment and potentially saving £165m, it is necessary for the industry to adopt a coordinated approach through CAMEO. If cremation authorities make decisions in isolation, it is inevitable that the 50% level will either not be achieved, resulting in further regulation, or be exceeded, resulting in additional costs being placed upon crematoria operators and the bereaved.
Manufacturers and independent observers have recognised that it will be difficult to abate 50% of cremations in the time remaining before the 31st December 2012. To achieve 50% abatement it is imperative that the introduction of equipment proceeds as quickly as possible, an approach that is recommended by the manufacturers, the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, the Cremation Society and the International Cremation Federation.